Summer Starter- Hawaiian Ahi Poke

IMG_7808Happy Summer! Today is the first official day of Summer so I would like to kick it off by wishing everyone warm months of barbecuing, sun tanning, and sweating. In honor of this special day, I wanted to post a recipe that holds the essence of Summer in it’s fresh and flaky flesh. This is one of my favorite dishes that has the ability to make me homesick every time I try it. But since I get to visit my home in Hawaii in just a mere 3 days, I’ve decided this is a great time for sharing.


Growing up in Hawaii, it is pretty much mandatory that you love fish, especially raw. Poke (pronounced poke-ee) is a very popular raw fish salad that is eaten as an appetizer or meal for lunch and dinner. It consists of raw sashimi grade fish cut into cubes and seasoned with ingredients such as soy sauce, onions, garlic, chili pepper, seaweed, tomatoes or sesame seeds. There are many types of poke which has become increasingly popular in fine dining restaurant over the past 10 years. I’m sure you’ve seen those martini glasses filled with itsy bits of perfectly cubed tuna lightly marinated in a sauce and topped with crispy won tons and sesame seeds. Sure that’s good, but let me tell you, it gets WAY better. Poke is not meant to be a fancy gourmet dish. If it doesn’t come in a plastic container with a side of shoyu and long toothpick to help you poke da buggahs, it’s not legit. Try the Hawaiian versions found in local fish markets and grocery stores and you will know what I mean. Here you can find not only several types of fresh Ahi poke filled with flavor, but octopus and salmon poke too. However, my favorite is still ahi poke either with red Maui onions or sesame seeds.

This recipe is a version of poke that I’ve tried and made several times. I can promise you it is delicious. It may not be the most authentic or traditional but I love this recipe because it works as whole meal. By adding soba noodles and shredded cabbage to the dish, you don’t have to worry about making anything else for dinner. Plus it is better to make ahead of time and chill so you don’t have to worry about last minute preparations. It may not be as good as the ones found in Hawaii, but it’s definitely legit enough to make at home. So next time you are feeling the Aloha spirit, don a mumu, light a tiki, and play some Iz while you make this onorecipe.


  • 1 1/4 pound fresh ahi tuna
  • 4 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4tsp mirin (rice wine)
  • 1 tbs red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup scallions
  • 1/2 maui onion, sliced or any sweet onion
  • 3 tbs toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 3 tbs ginger minced
  • soba noodles
  • cabbage, shredded


  1. Cube ahi into 1 inch pieces and place in bowl.
  2. Add all ingredients other than soba noodles and cabbage to another bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Pour into Ahi bowl and marinate for 2 – 4 hours. Serve as is or serve over cooked and chilled soba noodles

Recipe Courtesy of Trisha Flynn


3 thoughts on “Summer Starter- Hawaiian Ahi Poke

  1. Hi Leela, I was randomly searching for a photo of poke to show my mainland boyfriend, and landed on your blog. I was like – wait a minute – another Kilauea girl! Great blog.Lila

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