Ahi Tuna Poke! Such Fad, Much Ease

I was square in the poke-trend-hating squad for the past decade. It was to me the embodiment of everything annoying about the hipster culture - overpriced low-effort product that people rave nonstop because it's cool. It was the culinary modern art. At last my inner cheapo finally resolved to do something about this ripoff trend that I so resented: by making my own, and urging everyone to make their own.

Disclaimer: consumption of raw or under-cooked seafood may increase risk of foodborne illness. Now, if you're reading this you're probably both aware & willing to take your chances. You can minimize your risk by:
1) purchase "sushi grade" tuna that were previously frozen and processed with likely higher hygienic standards, but cost something like $36/lb & require a trip to specialty stores, or
2) purchase the much cheaper, more ubiquitous, previously (or still) frozen tuna steak & then salt-cure it before using.

In a nutshell, freezing kills parasites and salt kills bacteria.

You can always wrap it tight and stick it in the freezer for a week if you're paranoid about your tuna. Sushi grade fish are flash frozen to preserve taste and kill parasite. For reference, FDA guideline is to freeze fish at -4°F (-20°C) or below for 7 days. My very ordinary home freezer reaches well below that. Once your tuna is thawed, if you're worried about contamination from processing, you can rinse and soak the whole fillet in salt water for 3~5 minutes to kill surface bacteria. (Don't soak it for too long though, it may turn your fish too salty. Consider using low-sodium soy sauce if you're curing ahead of marinating.)


Tuna Poke:
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp honey
1 scallion, chopped
1 lb tuna, cubed to bite size pieces


Curing liquid:
1 cup water
3 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar

Sushi rice seasoning: (enough for 2 cups rice)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Poke bowl toppings:
Diced avocado
Spring mix
Seasoned sushi rice
Dried seaweed & toasted sesame

Add salt & sugar to curing water, soak tuna in curing liquid for 3~5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare poke marinade: mix soy sauce, sesame oil, & honey. Chop & add scallion to marinade.
Rinse and cube tuna steak. Toss cubed tuna in marinade; let it sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare sushi rice seasoning: mix rice vinegar, sugar, & salt. Mix with 2 cups short grain rice (or start with half the seasoning liquid & add to taste).
Assemble poke bowl: start with a bed of salad, then seasoned rice, then tuna and diced avocado. Finish with toasted seaweed & sesame.

Video Instruction:


Useful purchases:
Furikake Rice Seasoning (seaweed & sesame): https://amzn.to/2Rnmtdg
Ceramic & Stainless Steel Whisks: https://amzn.to/2BQ7ajn


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