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Traditional Hawaiian Poke Recipe

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Fresh ahi cut into bite sized cubes, marinated with classic Hawaiian flavors make this Hawaiian poke recipe one you don’t want to miss.

hawaiian poke with a chopstick

Bite sized pieces of cubed ahi packed with traditional Hawaiian flavors served up quick and easy. Poke is the perfect addition to your meal to pack in the tastes of Hawai’i.

What is poke?

Poke (pronounced po-kay, rhymes with okay) is a traditional Hawaiian dish generally made with cubed up raw fish that has been marinated with various condiments. It can be found at many Hawaiian restaurants, grocery stores, and even mom and pop shops. 

Whether you like traditional Hawaiian poke, shoyu ahi poke, or one of the many, many other ways to make poke, it’s a simple dish that can be easily made at home and customized to your liking. 

Everyone and their grandma has their own way of making Hawaiian poke and this is mine. 

hawaiian poke ingredients

Ingredients for Hawaiian poke

  • Ahi: Traditional poke recipes generally use ahi or yellowfin tuna. Be sure to get sushi (or sashimi) grade fish. Sushi grade is a term used to describe fish that can be prepared and eaten raw. Although there is no governing body to determine this the seller uses this term to describe the highest quality fish.
  • Green onion: Green onions are a popular addition to many poke recipes. This adds a bright color and subtle onion flavor and crunch.
  • Limu kohu: Limu kohu (http://www.hawaii.edu/reefalgae/publications/ediblelimu/) is an edible seaweed that is commonly used as a flavoring in poke. 
  • Maui onion: Maui onions are sweet and juicy and are a great addition for poke as it can be eaten raw.
  • ‘Inamona: ‘Inamona is made of roasted kukui (candlenut) and salt. This can be found most local or Hawaiian grocery stores. You can even find it online.
  • Hawaiian salt: Hawaiian salt is a sea salt that has been harvested in Hawai’i and has larger granules than traditional table salt.
  • Optional Hawaiian chili peppers: Hawaiian chili peppers pack a lot of heat, Use as little or as much as you wish.

Substitutions

  • Although ahi is the traditional fish used in poke, you can also use aku, tako (octopus), salmon, etc.
  • Limu kohu may be hard to source on the mainland. There are dried variations of seaweed that can be found in the Asian section at grocery stores or online. 
  • Can’t get your hands on Maui onions, use white onions as they have a mild flavor. You can also soak the onion in water for an hour or two to tame the flavor a little more.
  • If you can’t find ‘inamona or do not care for the taste you can use cashews that have been finely diced and mixed with salt as a replacement.
  • I really recommend getting your hands on some Hawaiian salt. You can purchase this online. Kosher salt or sea salt can be an alternative.
hawaiian poke ingredients

What does poke mean?

Poke is a Hawaiian word that means to slice or cut. The word has grown to describe this raw ahi tuna dish and other raw seafood salad dishes.

Is poke healthy?

FIsh is a great source of protein and is lower in saturated fats and higher in omega-3 fatty acids. It is also a great low calorie food option.

How to cook Hawaiian poke?

This dish is served raw. There is no cooking needed here. If you are leery of eating raw fish you can opt to pan fry the fish is you wish.

hawaiian poke

How to eat Hawaiian poke?

Hashi or chopsticks are a popular way to eat poke. But you can also use a good old fork, spoon, or your fingers if all else fails (although be sure to wash your hands and ear from your personal serving).

What to serve with ahi poke?

Hawaiian ahi poke is served as a pupu (appetizer) or a side dish. You can have it as a stand alone dish or serve it up on a bed of sticky, white rice for the ultimate poke bowl.

Does ahi poke need to be marinated?

Marinating fish allows the flavors to soak into the ahi and pack in more of a punch. While marinating is suggested, if you can’t wait, you definitely can eat it right after putting this dish together. 

hawaiian poke in a glass bowl

How to store Hawaiian poke?

Hawaiian poke is best eaten fresh. If you happen to have leftovers, poke can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a day or two. Fresh ahi should not have a fishy odor to it. If the fish has a fishy smell, is slimy, or discolored do not consume.

Can you freeze Hawaiian poke?

Sure can. Fish that has not been mixed with any additions will last longer in the freezer than that of ones that have been mixed. Already mixed poke can be stored in the freezer for 3 months. Longer storage times are possible but may change the texture of the fish.

Other great Traditional Hawaiian recipes

How to make Hawaiian poke?

  1. Place ahi in a medium to large size bowl.
  2. Add ingredients and toss to combine.
hawaiian poke in a glass bowl

Hawaiian Poke Recipe

Yield: 4 servingd
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Fresh ahi cut into bite sized cubes, marinated with classic Hawaiian flavors make this Hawaiian poke recipe one you don’t want to miss.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ahi, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons limu kohu, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Maui onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon ‘inamona
  • Hawaiian salt to taste
  • Optional 1-3 Hawaiian chili pepper, finely diced

Instructions

  1. Place ahi in a medium to large size bowl.
  2. Add ingredients and toss to combine.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 163Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 34g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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By on April 20th, 2021

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

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