Confession: I’ve never been to Hawaii. I feel like I’ve been to quite a lot of places in the world, but for some reason I never made it to Hawaii. I don’t know why because I feel like I would fit right in. Hawaiians are known for their love for spam and I love spam! They grow pineapples and I like to eat pineapples. They’re obsessed with poke, and I am too!
I cannot wait to taste authentic Hawaii poke because I’m pretty sure that I’ve butchered this beloved Hawaiian favorite. I didn’t want to mess with it too much, so I based my recipe off of my dear friend, Alana, who is Maui born and raised. I peppered her with a ton of questions like, what is limu and can I add crispy onions? Limu is a sort of seaweed (technically algae) and apparently adding crispy onions is kind of like sacrilege. But Alana said that I could call this mainland poke and kind-of-sort-of get away with it?
But then I had to go and put poke on quinoa, so I think that officially eliminates this for being anything remotely like a poke bowl. See, while I was chatting with Alana, I was throwing around ideas and she was answering me pretty much immediately. Then I mentioned that I wanted to do a poke quinoa bowl and there was radio silence for a good long time…
Thing is, Alana was right: poke does taste better on rice! But maybe that’s just because I’m a rice fiend? The quinoa was pretty good too but don’t let any Hawaiians know that I think that. How about you guys, do you have any poke rules?
Ahi Tuna Poke Quinoa Bowl very slightly adapted from Fix Feast Flair
serves 2-4, based on hunger levels
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic
- 1 lb. fresh ahi (sashimi grade) tuna, cut into bite-size cubes
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- smoked sea salt, to taste
- toasted sesame seeds, to taste
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- short grain white rice, or quinoa, to serve
- edamame, if desired
- sprouts, if desired
- crispy shallots, if desired
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauces, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. In a separate, appropriately sized bowl, gently toss together the tuna, green onions, and diced onion. Add the soy sauce mix to the ahi and toss until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour minimum.
When ready to serve, taste the poke and adjust the seasoning as needed with extra soy sauce, sesame oil, and smoked sea salt. Scoop out an appropriate amount of rice or quinoa into bowls. Add a generous amount of poke to the bowls and sprinkle on sesame seeds. Finish the bowls with avocado slices, edamame, sprouts, and crispy shallots. Enjoy!