Tuesday, July 19, 2016

This Tuna Poke is No Joke

There are many of foods I’ll stand in line for, and/or pay too much for, but Hawaiian-style tuna poke isn’t one of them. I can’t make a world-class croissant at home. I can make a decent one, but not a perfect one, so I’ll happily queue up at a boulangerie that does.

However, when it comes to poke, the technique is so basic that even the most inexperienced cooks can get something pretty much identical to what they’d get out. There’s one catch though. You have to use only the freshest possible tuna, even if that means it’s frozen.

Hopefully you’ll be able to get a hold of some fresh, sushi-grade tuna, but if you can’t, frozen will work. What many people don’t realize, is that most of the fish they enjoy at their favorite sushi restaurants has actually been frozen beforehand anyway. Google it, it’s true.

So, as long as the tuna is Grade A, or sushi grade, the frozen variety will work. Above and beyond that, all the other ingredients, except for the soy sauce, are optional. So, please use this video as merely a guide to the technique, understanding that this will work with so many different ingredients. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Makes 4 portions Tuna Poke:
1 pound sushi-grade ahi tuna (aka yellowfin), cut into about 3/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup high-quality soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons roasted macadamia nuts, crushed
1 tablespoon finely crumbled dried seaweed
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Other delicious additions include (add to finished poke, not the marinade, otherwise you may lose that gorgeous appearance):
- seasoned rice vinegar
- lemon or lime juice

* Toss tuna with marinade, and chill for 2 hours in the fridge before serving.


Ridell Apellanes said...

love you

Unknown said...

Is there any other fish you would recommend or only Tuna?

Unknown said...

Acid should naturally come from the sushi rice!

Unknown said...

Acid should naturally come from the sushi rice!

Unknown said...

Isn't "fresh" sushi grade tuna an oxymoron?

Sushi tuna is thawed, frozen tuna.

Unknown said...

Poke is suddenly so popular. I've noticed quite a few restaurants in the So. Cal area popping up that specialize in it.

Unknown said...

Isn't "fresh" sushi grade tuna an oxymoron?

Sushi tuna is thawed, frozen tuna.

myn said...

Other fish we use for poke are salmon and marlin.

The hawaiian nut is kukui crushed it would be called inamono.

Limu or ogo would be much more authentic then wakame if you can get your hands on some.

Plain white or brown rice is how its sold and eaten in here in Hawaii.

Ronny said...

I tried adding lemon juice at my poke. But then the lemon juice "cooked" the surface of the fish and the texture is bad. Seasoned rice vinegar is good. Also, I love using salmon for poke as well.

Nicholas.Zustak said...

Chef, do you know offhand where someone from Colorado might get frozen sushi grade fish other than online? I've got Whole Foods, "Natural Grocers", and big ass 24/7 non-union supermarkets lol. Generally go to the latter; never seen the words "sushi grade" outside of the internet

Paul said...

No Pokemon jokes?

Unknown said...

Whoa! Chef John, seems your excellent content is being bootlegged!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Naoko said...

Hi! I also live in San Francisco - can you recommend a good place to get sushi grade fish?

Unknown said...

Love you, love your blog! I would use the nuts but is there something I could use that is treenut-free for my daughter's sake that will sweeten it up still? My first thought was a little brown sugar or honey but I thought I'd check with you first since it then lacks the texture you had. She can do peanuts but those aren't really sweet. Maybe honey roasted peanuts? Then I get the sweetness and the texture? I definitely have to ask because I really don't want to do it and then my tuna is ruined. Either that or I just eat the tuna and make her eat a sandwich! hahaha (evil mom). Or, I just skip nuts all together but then where's the fun in that!?

Alex said...

Awesome recipe! We're always looking for a good spot in San Francisco to buy fresh fish -- where did you get your Tuna?

Don Gringo said...

CJ knocked it out of the park again! Super simple and super good, equal to what I have had as a pricey appetizer in many good sushi restaurants. This one is going in the rotation...

Unknown said...

Love the food make me hungry. And thanks for the ingredient so that other people can make one like that! Visit us Securities Fraud Lawyer

Super duper mom said...

I am in HI as we speak. I just finished off a container of poke from Safeway, of all places. It was actually pretty good, but I would like to make it at home. I knew you would have a good recipe. Thanks! The addition of avocado is awesome, btw.