Tuna Poke Bowls with Coconut Rice
Poke bowls are a fresh, summery meal that’s both filling and healthy. They’re having a moment right now, with poke restaurants popping up on every corner, but they’re genuinely a cinch to whip up in your own kitchen.
We’ve been spoiled rotten with visiting Hawaii many times in recent years. Direct flights are frequently available round trip from Vancouver for $300 and, come on, it would be unreasonable to turn that down.
I love Hawaiian “mixed plate” meals, which consist of sticky rice, macaroni salad, and grilled fish or meats. For many trips, it’s what I always ordered when we went out for lunch.
Until last time, when I got a poke bowl: sticky white rice topped with fresh, raw fish, the sweetest local pineapple, fresh cucumber, some crunchy puffed rice, and a sesame dressing. It was so light and delicious and full of textures and flavours that I became obsessed.
I’ve started ordering them in Vancouver and then moved on to making them at home. I start mine with a base of coconut rice, then I sear a tuna steak (it’s usually served raw, but I don’t tend to make raw fish dishes at home) and toss on whatever fresh fruits and veggies I have in the fridge.
You can serve the coconut rice warm or room temperature, and the tuna can be hot, cold or room temperature according to your preference. I won’t judge you if you decide to go with canned tuna – that makes a super-easy weekday lunch.
Go crazy with the toppings. Ideally, you want to have a mix of sweet (like mango, peach, or pineapple), crunchy (like radish, corn or cucumber), spicy (fresh chiles), savoury (minced red onion or sliced green onion) and nutty (peanuts, toasted coconut, sesame seeds, etc.). As long as you have two or three of those pillars, your poke bowl will be delicious.
The kids gobble them up, too. They love all the individual components, and it’s fun for them to build their own.
For Coconut Sticky Rice
- 1 1/2 cups white rice
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 3 cups coconut milk
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 fresh tuna steak
- chopped avocado, thawed frozen corn, sliced radishes, sliced green onion, cucumber, chopped ripe peach or mango, chopped peanuts as desired
For Coconut Rice
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes, occasionally stirring to avoid sticking, until rice is creamy and tender. If the liquid evaporates before the rice has softened, stir in 1/2 cup of water and cook until absorbed.
- Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup.
For Tuna and Toppings
- Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet or grill pan over high heat. Season tuna with salt on both sides then add to pan. Cook, flipping to sear all sides. Transfer to a cutting board, rest 5 minutes, then use a sharp knife to cut it in small pieces.