Made with chunks of fresh tuna and covered in a spicy mayo sauce, these spicy tuna poke bowls are healthy, quick, and easy to make at home. Whether you’ve never made tuna poke or you’ve tried it once before, these spicy little bowls are definitely worth a try.
What is Tuna Poke?
If you’ve never tried poke before, the word poke simply means “chunk” in Hawaiian and typically refers to seafood or meat that has been cut into small chunks and soaked in a flavourful marinade. Poke can be served as an appetizer or a main course, on its own or paired with other ingredients. Due to its strong Japanese and Korean influence, poke is commonly paired with umami flavours and ingredients such as soy sauce, sesame oil, seaweed and tobanjan, a salty bean paste made from fermented broad beans, however, today there are many different ways to create tuna poke or tuna poke bowls.
How to Make Tuna Poke Bowls
Building tuna poke bowls is actually a lot easier than you might think; here are some key components to consider:
- Tuna: A traditional ahi tuna poke uses bigeye or yellowfin tuna, however, the most important factor is using very fresh sushi- or sashimi-grade fish. Be sure to check with your local fishmonger when you plan on making poke using raw fish.
- Marinade: Although tuna is delicious on its own, the key to building flavour in a tuna poke bowl is to create a flavourful marinade to help enhance the flavours of the fish. A simple combination of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes is a great way to add a savoury, salty, spicy, and slightly sweet bite to the dish.
- Rice: Most poke bowls start with a layer of jasmine rice, although some recipes will call for seasoned rice, made with furikake, plain jasmine rice works just fine.
- Vegetables: Tuna poke bowls are typically paired with a variety of fresh vegetables, which can help to add some extra crunch, flavour and fibre. Some of the more commonly used vegetables in tuna poke bowls include radish, cucumber, carrots and edamame.
- Sauce: Poke bowls can be dressed with an assortment of sauces including sriracha, eel sauce, ponzu and soy sauce, however, a spicy mayo sauce tends to be the most popular. By simply combining some mayonnaise with a bit of hot sauce you can easily create a delicious spicy mayo sauce in minutes.
- Seasonings: Once complete, a tuna poke bowl can be topped with additional seasonings such as scallions, sesame seeds or chilli flakes for extra flavour and texture.
Although a more traditional tuna poke bowl recipe will include seaweed and tobanjan, for this particular recipe I opted to create a simplified version with easy-to-find ingredients that are available at major grocery stores so that you can whip up these spicy tuna poke bowls with minimal effort.
Are Tuna Poke Bowls Healthy?
They most certainly are! Made completely of real food and complete with protein, carbohydrates, fibre and healthy fats, poke bowls are a well-balanced meal that are nutritious and delicious. Not to mention, the ingredients in poke bowls are easily adaptable so you can adjust them to meet your personal needs. If you are concerned about calories you can reduce the total amount of mayonnaise or use a different sauce, and if you prefer a low-carb version you could easily swap the rice for cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, or omit it altogether.
Regardless of what combination of vegetables, sauces and seasonings you choose, these spicy tuna poke bowls are a quick and easy healthy meal idea that works equally well for lunch and dinner.
Looking for more ways to cook with tuna? Try my Tuscan tuna salad for another quick, easy and healthy tuna recipe!
Spicy Tuna Poke Bowls
These are the BEST tuna poke bowls! Made with fresh ahi tuna, rice, edamame, cucumber, carrots, radish and a spicy mayo sauce, these spicy tuna poke bowls are a quick, easy and delicious meal.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: Mains
- Cuisine: Hawaiian
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 8oz raw sushi- or sashimi-grade tuna, cubed
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1/2” ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 pinch chilli flakes (optional)
- 1/2 cup white rice, raw
- 1 cup edamame, frozen, thawed
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 3 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- Sesame seeds, to serve
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha or hot sauce
- Water, to thin
- In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, combine rice with 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook until all of the water has been absorbed and the rice can be fluffed with a fork, about 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool completely. (You can run the rice under cold water in a strainer to help speed up this process.)
- In a medium bowl, add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, honey and chilli flakes and whisk until well combined.
- Add the cubed tuna to the soy sauce mixture, gently stir it with a spoon or spatula until all of the tuna is coated in the marinade, and transfer to the fridge for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- In a small bowl or jar, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust the spice level as needed. If you find the sauce too thick add a small splash of water and whisk again until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
- Once the tuna has marinated and the rice has cooled completely, begin to assemble the bowls.
- Divide the rice, edamame, carrots, radish, and cucumber evenly across two bowls.
- Top each bowl with half of the tuna mixture (discard any extra marinade), a sprinkle of green onion and sesame seeds and a drizzle of the spicy mayo.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 485 calories
- Sugar: 9 grams
- Fat: 14 grams
- Carbohydrates: 47 grams
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Protein: 44 grams
Keywords: ahi tuna, hawaiian, sauce, marinade, best, fresh, raw, easy