If you can’t get enough raw fish, this recipe is for you. Ruby colored Ahi tuna in a light marinade, fresh avocado, and perfectly steamed white rice unite to form a perfectly balanced bowl of flavor. Think of it as the best tuna roll you’ve ever had, deconstructed. So much easier to make than sushi, give this recipe a try next time you come across fresh Ahi!
I grew up eating fish, both raw and cooked, several times a week. It was definitely much more prevalent on the menu than any land-dwelling animal. I have to admit that tuna has never been my favorite. Cooked tuna is usually overcooked, leaving it dry and difficult to even swallow without excessive amounts of water. Raw tuna… well. I’m not an expert, but most of the raw tuna served as “sushi” just seems like a sad, chemically infused, color enhanced version of some fish that led a tragic life in a dirty pool of water and died several weeks ago. Do you know what I mean?
One of the most important factors in finding fish worth eating is knowing that it’s fresh. At a restaurant, even the higher end ones, this can be a challenge. There is an enormous degree of “fish perjury” where fish labeled as wild and fresh is really farmed and previously frozen. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever had a memorable tuna dish at a restaurant, due in part to the fact that they don’t serve fresh tuna.
So find a tuna recipe that you like… oh, wait, there’s conveniently one below 😉 …and buy tuna from a market that’s reputable. If you live near Minneapolis, I can highly recommend Coastal Seafoods. I have never been disappointed by their fish, and coincidentally it’s where I got the Ahi featured in this recipe. I would not trust any other market in the Twin Cities when buying fish I intend to eat raw. No offense, Minnesota, but it’s just hard to find fresh seafood here, understandably. I’ve also heard good things about Fish for Sushi. On their site, they use the term Yellowfin for Ahi tuna. Bigeye tuna is closely related and will also work in this recipe.
A couple notes on the recipe. Please, please, please use good quality white rice. If you didn’t grow up eating a lot of sticky rice, you may not know what kind of an impact quality has on the meal. Bread is similar. A sandwich with artisan sourdough is going to be a lot better than one made with wonder bread. I like Niko Niko and Kokuho rice brands. Also, please use a very sharp knife when cutting the fish. A dull knife will tear instead of slice and you’ll get something looking like ground beef instead of precise cubes of fish. Trust me, it will be more appetizing.
Ahi Tuna Poke
Makes 1 serving
– 2 tsp soy sauce
– 1 tsp lime juice
– 1/2 tsp sesame oil
– 1/8 tsp wasabi
– 1/4 lb ahi tuna
– 1 c cooked rice
– 1/2 avocado, sliced
– sesame seeds
Combine soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, and wasabi in a small bowl and whisk until the wasabi is thoroughly incorporated.
On a clean surface, cut the Ahi into 1/2″ cubes with a very sharp knife. Place in the marinade and toss to coat. Feel free to use your hands.
Let rice cool slightly before placing in a wide shallow bowl. Layer avocado slices over rice. Pile the fish over the avocado, and then top with sesame seeds and nori as desired.