Poke is the current dish sweeping the nation. It originates in Hawaii where every family has a favorite poke recipe. Basically, poke is a dish to use left-over bits of fish. Small pieces of fish and vegetables are marinated and sometimes served over a bed a rice; sort of a cross between deconstructed sushi and the Polynesian equivalent of ceviche. If you prefer to serve your poke as an appetizer, rice crackers make a nice accompaniment. 

Poke dishes are healthy, easy to prepare and delicious. If you’re wary of eating raw fish, simply marinade your seafood for a longer period (refrigerated, of course) and it will be pickled and have the taste and consistency of cooked fish. 

A note about the recipes; all fish should be sushi grade - which means it has been handled and butchered in a way that makes it safe to eat raw. While most recipes call for ahi, any firm-fleshed fish, such as salmon are appropriate. For those concerned about eating raw fish, use cooked, chilled shrimp or chunks of firm tofu 

The directions for all the recipes are basically the same; unless otherwise noted, mix all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl (meaning glass, ceramic or plastic) and cover and chill for about one hour before serving, salt to taste. Recipes may be prepared up to six hours in advance, if you want to serve ceviche style (meaning pickled). Keep the dish chilled while serving and use within eight hours.  

Basic Tuna Poke 

1 lb. raw sushi grade ahi tuna, cut into ½ inch cubes 

3 tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce 

1 tbs. toasted sesame oil 

1 tsp. Asian chili oil 

2 tbs. ponzu sauce 

1 garlic clove, minced 

1 green onion, sliced diagonally 

2 tbs. roughly chopped cilantro leaves 

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds 

½ avocado sliced, for garnish 

Maui Poke 

1 lb. ahi tuna, cut in ½ cubes 

1 shallot, sliced (or Maui onions) 

3 tbs. soy sauce  

1 tsp. sesame oil 

1 tsp. chili garlic sauce 

1 tbs. sesame seeds 

¼ cup minced pineapple 

California Roll Poke 

1 lb. ahi tuna, cut in ½ cubes 

1 cup crab meat  

½ cup green onions, sliced 

½ cup Persian, or English cucumber, cut in ½ inch cubes) 

1 avocado, cut in ½ inch cubes) 

2 tsp. masago or red caviar (fish roe) 

4 tsps. sesame oil 

2 tbs. soy sauce 

2 tbs. toasted sesame seeds 

1/2 -3/4 cup Sriracha mayonnaise (see below for recipe) 

Sriracha Mayonnaise 

1/2 cup mayonnaise 

2-3 tbs. Sriracha hot sauce (to taste) 

2 tbs. rice vinegar 

Spicy Poke 

1 lb. wild salmon, cut in ½ cubes 

3 tbs. chili garlic sauce  

1 tbs. sesame oil 

1/4 cup shoyu (soy sauce) 

1 tsp ginger, grated 

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced 

1 box firm tofu 

1/4 cup seaweed 

1/2 onion, thinly sliced 

2 T green onion, chopped 

Spicy Poketinis 

This is a showstopper to serve, either as a lunch entrée or a first course for dinner. 


1 lb. sushi-grade ahi tuna, cut in ¼ inch cubes 

1 tbsp. soy sauce  

1/2 tsp sesame oil (or to taste) 

2 scallions, finely sliced (about 1/4 cup) 

1/4 medium Maui or Vidalia onion, minced 

1 jalapeno or Shishido pepper, seeded and minced 

Siracha mayonnaise (see recipe above) 

Pinch of Hawaiian salt or other coarse salt  

1 cup diced avocado  

microgreens, or watercress 

toasted sesame seeds 

scallions, finely sliced 

tobiko or masago 


Combine first six ingredients in a bowl, chill for about 30 minutes. 

Combine the Sriracha mayonnaise and 1 tbsp tobiko or masago, whisking briefly until combined.  

When tuna is chilled, add the avocado and spicy mayonnaise mixture.  

Toss until coated, place in four chilled martini glasses.  

Top with microgreens, sesame seeds, scallions, and tobiko or masago.  

Garnish with won ton or lotus root chips or slices of cucumber. 

Chill until ready to serve.