How To Make A Delicious Spicy Tuna Poke

How To Make A Delicious Spicy Tuna Poke

Poke has always been popular in Hawaii and not just with the Hawaiians. Even tourists tend to love the dish since it resembles ceviche to a large extent. With Sushi quite famous in the US, people are pretty comfortable eating raw fish. In addition, with food bowls being highly sought out right now, it makes sense that Poke catches up to the trend.

The best part is that Poke can be made right at home! And you do not need any fancy equipment or ingredients.

How to Make a Delicious Spicy Tune Poke?

A traditional Hawaiian preparation, Poke is generally a salad containing cubed raw Tuna (or other fish). The fish is marinated in either soy sauce or sesame oil. And sometimes with mayo added to the mix like in our recipe. Though the traditional preparation calls for ahi (yellowfin tuna), you can also substitute it with Salmon or Tofu.

Spicy Tuna Poke is easy to make and in just 15 minutes. It serves best as an appetizer or side dish. And when used over rice, it is a meal on its own.


To Prep the Tuna

  • Sushi grade tuna – ½ lb
  • Soy sauce – 2 tbsp (tamari)
  • Sliced scallions – ¼ cup
  • Sriracha – ½ tsp
  • Sesame oil – 1 tsp

For the Spicy Sauce

  • Light Mayonnaise – 2 tbsp
  • Sriracha Sauce – 2 tsp

For the Bowl

  • Cooked sushi white rice – 1 cup (short grain brown rice)
  • Avocado – 1/2
  • Cucumber – 1 cup (peeled and diced ½” cubes)
  • Black sesame seeds – 1 tsp
  • Scallions – 2 (for garnish)
  • Sriracha
  • Soy sauce


  • Wash the tuna and pat dry entirely. Cut it into half-inch cubes.
  • Take your cubed tuna in a medium-sized bowl. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, and sriracha. Gently toss the tuna such that the mixture covers the fish thoroughly.
  • Set it aside in the fridge and let it marinate for 10 minutes to an hour.
  • Combine the mayo and the sriracha in a small bowl. Drizzle in little water to thin out the sauce.
  • Take two bowls and add rice to half the bowl. Next, add the tuna and vegetables. And finally, top with scallions.
  • Drizzle the spicy mayo sauce and sesame seeds. Serve with extra soy sauce and sriracha on the side.

What is Poke?

Poke refers to cut or slice in Hawaiian and defines an assortment of dishes in Hawaii. Traditionally cubed fish are tossed in a marinade with seasonings and toppings. The classic toppings include sesame seeds, seaweed, or sweet onion, sparingly scattered on the poke. However, the modern varieties have a host of toppings ranging from vegetables to even Cheetos.

The beautiful thing about a poke is that you can make it any way you want it. So feel free to play and add your twists. You can add your toppings and make them as spicy as you need.

What’s in a Poke Bowl?

All poke bowls contain raw fish with sauce and toppings. Everything else in the bowl is customizable. Not a fan of raw tuna? You can even add cooked or, better, deliciously seared tuna. Feel free to make it as spicy as you like. You can also replace the tuna with any sushi-grade fish like salmon.

Here are some ideas for poke ingredients:

  • Fish – Sushi-grade fish (Tuna, (if not then) Salmon), cooked shrimp, tofu (for vegans)
  • Base – Sushi rice, black rice, or brown rice
  • Vegetables – Avocado, cucumber, shredded carrots, edamame, shredded cabbage, green onion, pickled onion, pickled ginger, mango,
  • Sauce – Spicy mayo, sriracha, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame vinaigrette
  • Toppings – Sesame seeds, cilantro, freshly grated ginger, wonton crisps

Are Tuna Poke Bowls Healthy?

Yes! Tuna Poke bowls are healthy. Tuna is a good source of lean protein and is packed with vitamins and minerals.

However, the health aspect depends on the sauce and the toppings. For example, we have used avocado, cucumber, and edamame, amongst others here in this recipe. You can replace the sushi rice with brown rice and skip the wonton crisps to reduce calories. Of course, you can always add more vegetables to give it a nutritional boost.

Skip the rice, and the poke bowls are keto-friendly too.

How Long Does the Tuna Poke Keep Fresh?

Since the fish is raw, you should finish the bowl on the same day. Having said that, the bowl keeps fresh in the refrigerator for two days.

Remember that raw fish should not be left unrefrigerated for more than 1-2 hours max. Beyond that, discard the left-out fish. If left out for less than two hours, the fish can be returned to the fridge for use later. 

How to Store Spicy Tuna Poke?

Store the raw fish separately in an air-tight container in your fridge. Take it out only when you are ready to serve and use what will be eaten. Refrigerate the rest immediately within 2 hours.

You can also freeze the poke in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. It will store well for 2-3 months. Though a frozen fish can hold longer, it will lose its freshness, quality, and taste.

Tips to Make the Best Poke

Choosing the Fish

  • Fresh is best when it comes to Poke. So buy the freshest fish; if not, purchase flash-frozen fish.
  • Look for the sushi-grade label on the package.
  • If in doubt, ensure that the fish has a vibrant color without a fishy odor.

Preparing the Fish

  • Ensure that the fish is a center-cut yellowfin tuna. Alternatives include salmon, scallops, and shrimp.
  • Use a paring knife to remove the connective tissue.
  • Cut it into 1” cubes using a sharp chef’s knife.

Marinating the Fish

  • The ratio of fish to marinade: For one pound of fish, use 1 tbsp sesame oil and ½ cup soy sauce.
  • It’s enough that you marinate your fish for 2 hours.

Making the Base

  • While short-grain rice and sushi rice are traditional, you can also use vermicelli noodles, quinoa, lettuce, spiralized veggies, and more.


  • Onions, scallion, sesame seeds, and fish roe are standard toppings. You can also experiment a little and try pickled ginger, wasabi, furikake, wonton crisps, and seaweed.
  • Add crunchy vegetables such as cucumber, shredded carrots, edamame, and macadamia nuts can add color and texture.

5 Recipes For Making Sushi With Salmon

How To Build A Sushi Tower