Make ahi tuna salad for dinner! This Japanese poke bowl has cubes of raw tuna steak, quinoa, mango, avocado, veggies and a tangy honey lime vinaigrette. It's fresh, delicious, and healthy too!
Some people feel a bit anxious at the thought of eating raw fish. The thing is, sushi, sashimi, poke bowls and other types of raw fish or shellfish can be delicious! Depending on the type of fish, some of these raw seafood dishes come with health benefits as well.
This being said, given the current condition of some parts of the world's water ecosystem, having concerns is understandable.
The truth is, eating raw fish or seafood is considered generally safe for most people. However, it's important to follow food safety guidelines for proper storage and preparation of raw seafood.
Who Should NOT Eat Raw Ahi Tuna Salad?
For people in certain high-risk groups, it is NEVER safe to consume raw seafood of any kind. The following people should not prepare or eat this Japanese poke bowl:
- Pregnant women, as well as those who are still breastfeeding babies
- Infants, young children, and older seniors
- Anyone with a compromised immune system. This includes those with HIV and other autoimmune diseases.
For more information, read this FDA article on the safety of consuming raw fish and shellfish.
Can't or don't want to eat raw fish? Not a problem!
There are plenty of healthy seafood recipes you can make that require cooking the fish. Try this recipe for Palestinian Fish Meatballs (Kofta), or this one, for Shrimp Shumai.
Recipe Tips for the Freshest Japanese Poke Bowl
- Be sure to use sushi-grade ahi tuna.
If you're lucky enough to live in an area where you can buy your tuna directly from the boat, definitely do that! Otherwise, be sure to get it from a reputable fishmonger or other trusted source of sushi-grade ahi.
- Buy and make it on the same day.
If at all possible, make the ahi tuna salad as soon as you get home from buying the tuna. Otherwise, store it on completely frozen ice until you’re able to prepare it.
Unfortunately, most standard home refrigerators cannot reach a temperature that is cold enough to hold raw fish below the “safe zone” of 40°F.
When the temperature is higher than 40°F., the fish is at risk of growing harmful bacteria.
- Eat the Japanese poke immediately after preparing it.
As mentioned above, it isn’t safe to keep your raw tuna salad in the fridge.
Whether you're a sushi veteran or this will be your first time eating raw fish, I hope you enjoy this delicious Japanese salad!
Ahi Tuna Salad (Japanese Poke Bowl)
For Pickled Onions
- 1 large red onion sliced very thinly (see Note 1)
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
Japanese Poke Bowl
- 1 lb fresh ahi tuna steak filets cut into half inch cubes
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp sesame seeds white and/or black
- 1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa (See Note 2)
- 1 ½ cups bell pepper any color(s), diced
- 2 green onions sliced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 avocado pitted and diced
- 1 mango pitted and diced
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice ~3 limes
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp horseradish sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- ⅛ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds white and/or black, for garnish
- 1 head butter lettuce to line serving bowl
Pickled Red Onion
- Place red onion slices in non-reactive bowl, cover with rice wine vinegar. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Rinse quinoa with cold water until water runs clear, then drain. Transfer to a saucepan with 2 ¾ cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 18 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and spread cooked grains on a baking sheet to cool.
- To a large salad bowl, add bell peppers, pickled red onion, green onions and cilantro.
- Toss cubes of ahi in a bowl with soy sauce, a few slices of pickled onion and sesame seeds. Set aside.
Honey Lime Vinaigrette
- In small bowl, whisk together lime juice, vinegar, oil, horseradish sauce, and honey. Season with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Add cool quinoa to the large salad bowl. Gently toss in marinated ahi, avocado and mango. Add honey lime vinaigrette on top and mix thoroughly to combine.
- Serve with sprig of cilantro and sesame seeds.
- Slice the red onion as thinly as possible. For best results, use a mandoline slicer.
- Either use 1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa or ½ cup each of uncooked quinoa, millet and amaranth, for a total of 1 ½ cups.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.