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The Poke Cookbook: Soyu Ahi Recipe

Poke, the traditional Hawaiian snack of raw fish seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil, has hit the mainland. We’re starting to see this dish on menus more often, not to mention the poke-centric restaurants popping up all over the country! Poke is not only fresh, healthy, and delicious, but it’s also simple and endlessly customizable. In The Poke Cookbook, there are 45 recipes for traditional poke, modern riffs, bases, bowls, and other local-style accompaniments. Read on for a classic poke recipe, but don’t miss the other fun options (like Uni, Lychee, and Coconut or Yuz Ponzu Scallop!) in the cookbook. Enjoy!

Shoyu Ahi
serves 4


This is the classic poke, the one that you probably think of when you hear the word. It showcases the evolution of the dish over the decades, with the more prized ‘ahi tuna replacing bony reef fish, the nutty richness of sesame oil stepping in for ‘inamona, crunchy raw yellow onion replacing the limu, and shoyu (soy sauce)—a staple in Hawai‘i, thanks to the Japanese-influenced culture—for salt. At popular poke counters, you’ll find this base mixed with all sorts of seafood, such as salmon, kajiki (blue marlin), or abalone, and even non-seafood, like tomatoes or edamame.

1 pound sushi-grade tuna, cut into ¾-inch pieces
½ cup thinly sliced yellow onion
½ cup thinly sliced scallions (green parts only)
2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon sambal oelek

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Fold gently until evenly distributed. Taste, and adjust with more soy sauce as desired.

Serve immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to a day. If you let the poke marinate, taste it again right before serving; you may want to add another splash.



Excerpt from The Poke Cookbook by Jesse Martha Cheng. ©Martha Cheng 2017. Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group.


Recipe and photo reprinted.

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