Today’s recipe isn’t one I originally intended to post. Over the weekend I was working on a reader’s request for a sweet yet healthy snack, and everything was going perfectly until I took said snack out of the oven. It had been a while since my last big recipe fail, and I guess it was just bound to happen at some point. The recipe fell quite literally to pieces (albeit delicious ones), so it isn’t quite ready for the blog yet. Don’t worry though, because I’m right back into testing a second version and you’ll see it very soon. In the meantime, let’s talk about holiday destinations.
Having grown up in Bahrain, I was really fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to places that, relative to Canada, are pretty far away. My family spent Christmas in Oman, summers in Australia and Scotland, and took the occasional long weekend trip to Dubai. I even got to visit one of my friends from school in Singapore, and was part of her wedding in Melbourne years later. When it comes to the western hemisphere however, I’m definitely not as well-travelled. I love beach holidays, but my experience of the Caribbean is limited to a 1-week university grad trip to Punta Cana. Grad trips are great and everything…. when you’re in university.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been dying to go to Hawaii. This desire got even more intense when I started following triathlon, watching the Ironmman World Championships in Kona every year in October on TV and literally wanting to dive into the TV screen to feel what it would be like to actually be there. There’s the gorgeous beaches, the surfing, the sunsets, and the volcanoes. Then there’s the flower leis, the luaus, the honu (sea turtles) and the surfers. And of course, there’s the chubby little bananas, pineapples, and…. tuna poke.
So why haven’t I been there yet? It’s a great question, and a goal I plan to reach by the end of 2017. But in the meantime, I’ve been making my Hawaiian adventure bucket list while whipping up a little taste of it all in my own kitchen.
I’ve talked before about being scared to prepare raw fish because I figured I’d inevitably make myself ill, but recently at Whole Foods I found sashimi-grade ahi tuna and felt brave enough to give it a go. I’m sure that the fish caught literally minutes before being delivered at Hawaii’s poke shacks would put the frozen type to shame, but regardless, my result ended up being absolutely delicious and crazy easy to prepare too.
In case this is your first time reading about tuna poke (pronounced poke-ay), it’s a savoury Hawaiian staple dish starring diced and marinated sushi-grade tuna. Depending on the recipe, you’ll also find a few mix-ins like avocado, greens, rice and seaweed served along with the fish – or in my case, all of those things and more. Once you’ve gathered up your ingredients it’s just like making a salad – simply toss them together.
There are other varieties of poke (octopus, shrimp and crab), but tuna is the most common and it seemed to be the only thing calling my name while grocery shopping this weekend. Various sources have different opinions when it comes to marinating times, and because I’m impatient I only managed to wait 5 minutes. I’m not sure if that even counts as marinating, but I don’t care because this was absolutely divine.
Ahi Tuna Poke Bowls
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Ingredients (1 serving)
For the sauce:
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tamari/gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- juice of 2 limes
- pinch of sugar or stevia
For the rest:
- about 110g sushi-grade tuna, defrosted according to package directions if frozen, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 cup cucumber, very thinly sliced, diced or spiralized
- 1 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup diced mango
- 1/4 cup shelled edamame
- 1/2 cup seaweed salad or soaked kombu seaweed (optional)
- 1/4 avocado, sliced or diced
- baby greens or rice, to serve
- pickled ginger
- black + white sesame seeds
Put all ingredients for the sauce into a small saucepan and place it on the stove over medium heat. Whisk constantly for 5 minutes, by which time the sauce will have reduced slightly and should be smooth. Pour it into a bottle or bowl and put it in the fridge to cool.
Prepare all other ingredients as directed above. If your seaweed salad is not pre-made, soak the kombu in warm water until soft, then toss it in a splash of rice vinegar and sesame seeds.
Chop the tuna into small cubes about 1/2″ thick and drizzle them with a few tablespoons of the sauce. Let them sit for 5 minutes to marinate.
In a serving bowl make a base layer of greens or rice, depending on your preference.
Arrange all of the remaining ingredients, including the marinated tuna on top of the greens/rice. Drizzle a bit more dressing over top (you will have leftovers) and sprinkle garnishes.
A cup of tuna poke while standing under a palm tree and watching the waves roll in? Sign me up.
PS. For all my veggie friends, I know I’ve been on a fish kick lately but I promise you a vegan recipe next week!
So tell me…
- What’s your dream travel destination?
- For those of you who have been to Hawaii, which island(s) did you visit? Any must-sees, must-eats or must-do’s?