One of Hawaii’s most beloved treats has hit the mainstream in a big way — get on the wagon and experience poke in all its glorious forms, especially the classic shoyu ahi poke. From the traditional to the vegan and even fruit-based, there’s a recipe for you. Join Hawaiian food writer and editor Martha Cheng on a poke journey you won’t forget.
This is the classic poke, the one that you probably think of when you hear the word. It showcases the evolution of the dish over the decades, with the more prized ahi tuna replacing bony reef fish, the nutty richness of sesame oil stepping in for ‘inamona, crunchy raw yellow onion replacing the limu, and shoyu (soy sauce) — a staple in Hawaii, thanks to the Japanese-influenced culture — for salt. At popular poke counters, you’ll find this base mixed with all sorts of seafood, such as salmon, kajiki (blue marlin), or abalone, and even non-seafood, like tomatoes or edamame.
- 1 pound sushi-grade tuna, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (green parts only)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek
For the poke
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Fold gently until evenly distributed. Taste, and adjust with more soy sauce as desired.
Serve immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to a day. If you let the poke marinate, taste it again right before serving; you may want to add another splash of soy sauce.