Tuna Poke

I visit the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market nearly every Saturday morning, and after also shopping the Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market I bring home my purchases and make lunch—which is frequently a fairly simple but flavorful salad of tuna and seaweed. Note that, unlike ceviche, there is no acid in poke dressing, so the fish is not cooked or cured. Make sure you’re using top quality fresh fish. If you have any doubt at all, ask your fishmonger: “Would you eat this raw?”

By / Photography By Chuck Cook | July 19, 2018

Ingredients

Seasoned Rice:
  • 1 cup short-grain sushi rice
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Poke:
  • 1 pound fresh tuna (whichever is in season)
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 10 grams or ¼ cup hijiki
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 grams (about ¼ cup) shaved bonito (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon roasted black sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • furikake rice seasoning (optional)
For the Poke:For the Poke:
  • 15 grams or ½ cup wakame

Preparation

Use a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Pour the rice into the pan, put the pan in the sink and run cold water over the rice grains. Scrunch the rice together with your fingers to help release the starch. Carefully drain off the water, and repeat. After the third or fourth rinse, you should notice that the water is no longer cloudy, indicating that you have removed most of the powdery starch. After draining 1 last time, pour the measured water into the pan, and bring to a boil over high heat.

As soon as the water is at a full boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice simmer for 12 minutes. While the rice is simmering, make the seasoning. Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan or steel bowl and heat over a low flame until salt and sugar dissolve in the mirin and make a thin syrup. Keep it simmering low as the rice cooks.

After the rice has simmered for 12 minutes, remove it from the heat and let it rest, tightly covered, for an additional 15 minutes. Take the mirin off the heat at the same time.

Put the seaweed into small bowls or ramekins, fill with water, and let it rehydrate while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Measure the soy sauce, sesame oil and honey into a large bowl; whisk or stir lightly. Slice the scallions into thin rounds, discarding the hollow tops (reserve them for stock!) and add them to the soy mixture. For extra umami and deeper tuna flavor, add shaved bonito. I buy it pre-portioned into 3-gram packets, which is perfect. Cube the tuna into half-inch chunks, transferring it to the bowl as you go. Drain the seaweed, pressing out any excess water, and add to the soy and tuna. Add the sesame seeds, and gently stir to combine. Let the fish and seaweed marinate while you finish the rice.

Transfer the rice to a large bowl. Fluff the rice for a bit to help it cool, then drizzle half of the mirin over the top, folding it in. Add more as needed to coat all the rice. You may not need all the mirin (the rice shouldn’t be wet). Stir for a couple minutes to cool the rice some more.

To serve: Place rice in the bottom of a bowl and then scoop the poke on top. Optional: Add furikake for extra flavor and visual appeal.

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Ingredients

Seasoned Rice:
  • 1 cup short-grain sushi rice
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Poke:
  • 1 pound fresh tuna (whichever is in season)
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 10 grams or ¼ cup hijiki
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 grams (about ¼ cup) shaved bonito (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon roasted black sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • furikake rice seasoning (optional)
For the Poke:For the Poke:
  • 15 grams or ½ cup wakame
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