A spicy perspective on a traditional ahi pole recipe

Kathleen Blumenthal
I love to cook and expand the boundaries of cooking
traditional ahi pole

If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you know one thing about locals: they love poke. And now this meal is having a big moment in countries around the world. It’s not a trip to the islands without delicious poke, and you can easily make this at home. The main work is cooking rice and when it’s done, the salad comes together in 5 minutes.

If you haven’t tried it, poke is the most basic seafood mixed with vegetables and red Hawaiian salt. Poke can be different, for example, taste like Mexican tostada with Hawaiian ingredients. This recipe is for spicy food lovers who believe that wasabi and chili make everything better. There is only one thing when shopping for poke ingredients: you need to get quality tuna.

No matter what the label on the packaging says about quality, the first thing you should do after buying it is to smell the fish. It shouldn’t have a funky smell. Some people say they don’t like fish because of the smell, but quality raw tuna don’t smell fishy. If it is, you shouldn’t be using it raw. Quality tuna has the smell of the ocean, but not fish.

Ask your fishmonger to smell the fish before you buy it. If it’s wrapped in the refrigerator, check the color. It should be bright red. The texture is firm and not sticky or mushy. When fresh tuna is on your table, you’re ready to start with the recipe.

A spicy perspective on a traditional ahi pole recipe

Ahi poke is raw, quality fish, usually yellowfin tuna, tossed with spicy and flavorful sauce, and spooned over your favorite rice along with tasty addition like wasabi, ginger, cucumber and seaweed.

Course Lunch & dinner
Cuisine Hawaiian
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 530 kcal


  • 8 ounce yellowfin tuna, sliced into small cubes
  • 1/2 tbsp homemade wasabi
  • 2.5 cups cooked white rice
  • 1/2 tsp chili sauce
  • 1/2 sliced cucumber
  • 1/4 pickled ginger
  • 1 cup roasted seaweed sheets
  • 1 cup imitation crab meat
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp prepared wasabi
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil


  1. Making the homemade wasabi sauce is the first step. Take a small bowl and whisk together store-bought wasabi, rice vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Everything should be blended. 

  2. Keep in a fridge for a day or use immediately.

  3. Take another bowl, add tuna and drizzle over a half of the wasabi sauce, the rest is for the dipping. Make sure every piece of fish is covered in sauce.

  4. Spoon cooked rice into bowls, tope with tuna. Add other toppings to your choice and drizzle Chili Sauce over the tuna. Sprinkle over the seeds and you're ready to eat.


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