food, Recipes

4 recipes for the ultimate at-home poke

Geraldine Muñoz


The poke bowl trend has been sweeping the globe since late 2016 and it's still growing. Pronounced 'poh-keh', the Hawaiian dish is typically made from raw fish, rice and vegetables. It's basically sushi in a salad. Not only is it super Instagrammable, it is also healthy and delicious. And the best part? There are poke restaurants popping up all over South Africa, each adding their own innovative twist. Peruse our list of top poke spots in Joburg, Durban and Cape Town to satisfy your seafood cravings here or make your own with the four recipes below.

Tuna K-poke

Serves 4 | Prep time 20 minutes | Cook time 50 minutes (plus standing)

You’ve heard of K-pop; now here’s our K-poke. Korean flavours join the more traditional and Hawaiian, with kimchi adding a funky element while its pickling liquid cures the fish ever so slightly.

Ingredients
400g brown rice
5cm piece of dried kombu
1t sea salt
350g sashimi-quality skinless tuna fillet, diced
100g kimchi, coarsely chopped, plus 1½T kimchi liquid
1½T soy sauce
1½T rice vinegar
1½T sesame oil
2t roasted sesame seeds, plus extra to serve
2 avocadoes, cut into thin wedges
spring onion finely sliced, to serve

Method
Place the rice, kombu, 750ml water and sea salt in a saucepan, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook without uncovering for 50 minutes. Remove from the heat and stand covered for 10 minutes, then discard the kombu and fluff up the rice with a fork.
Combine the tuna, kimchi and kimchi liquid, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and sesame seeds in a bowl, toss to combine and stand to marinate lightly for 10 minutes.
To serve, divide the warm rice among four serving bowls, top with the tuna mixture and avocado, drizzle any juices that remain from the tuna over it and garnish with spring onion and extra sesame seeds.
Drink suggestion: Amber ale

Ocean trout poke on matcha rice

poke recipes

Serves 4 | Prep time 20 minutes | Cook time 20 minutes (plus standing)

Matcha brings a gorgeous earthiness to the sushi rice in this poke, contrasting with the sweetness of the trout and tang of the ruby grapefruit dressing.

Ingredients
400g sushi rice, rinsed
1t sea salt
1t matcha powder* dissolved in 50ml hot water
150g podded edamame
350g sashimi-quality skinless ocean trout fillet, diced
1 small Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced on a mandolin
2 radishes trimmed and thinly sliced on a mandolin
Tobiko** and coriander cress, to serve

For the ruby grapefruit-tamari dressing
2T vegetable oil
2T ruby grapefruit juice
1T rice vinegar
1T tamari
2t lemon juice
1t finely grated ruby grapefruit rind
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Method
Place the rice, 500ml water and 1t sea salt in a saucepan, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook without uncovering for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stand covered for 10 minutes, then mix in the matcha powder.
Put all of the ingredients for the ruby grapefruit-tamari dressing in a jar and shake to combine.
Cook the edamame in a saucepan of boiling, salted water for 1-2 minutes until tender, then drain, refresh and drain.
Divide the warm rice among four serving bowls, top with the trout, edamame, cucumber and radishes, drizzle the dressing over to taste, garnish with tobiko and coriander cress, and serve.
Wine suggestion: Pinot noir

* Matcha powder is available from specialist tea shops, Japanese grocers and health-food shops. **Tobiko, flying fish roe, is available from select fishmongers. If it’s unavailable, substitute salmon roe.

Spicy prawn and pineapple poke

Serves 4 | Prep time 20 minutes | Cook time 20 minutes (plus standing)

What could be more Hawaiian than coconut? Coconut milk adds a beautiful creaminess to the rice base, while coconut flakes bring just the right amount of crunch. Use an underripe pineapple here to bring tartness and complexity to the dish.

Ingredients
400g sushi rice, rinsed
250ml coconut milk
1t sea salt
16 cooked prawns, peeled with tails intact
250gm pineapple, thinly sliced
4 baby cucumbers, thinly sliced lengthways
1T Spanish onion, finely chopped
Coriander; 1 long green chilli, thinly sliced; lime rind, finely grated; toasted coconut flakes; and lime wedges, to serve

For the coconut green chilli dressing
70ml coconut milk
2T vegetable oil
2t rice vinegar
1t soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
½ long green chilli, thinly sliced
½ garlic clove, finely grated

Method
Bring the rice, coconut milk, 250ml water and 1t sea salt to a simmer in a saucepan, then reduce the heat to low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook without uncovering for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stand covered for 10 minutes, then uncover and fluff up the rice with a fork.
Put all of the ingredients for the coconut green chilli dressing in a jar, shake to combine and season to taste.
Divide the warm coconut rice among four serving bowls and top with the prawns, pineapple, cucumber and onion. Drizzle the dressing over to taste, garnish with the coriander, chilli, lime rind and coconut flakes, and serve with the lime wedges.
Wine suggestion: Medium-sweet young Riesling

Tofu poke bowl with pickled carrot

Serves 4 | Prep time 25 minutes | Cook time 50 minutes (plus pickling and standing)

This vegan tofu bowl is full of flavour and texture. Use a mix of varieties of baby beetroot. If the leaves are small and tender, why not add them to the mix?

Ingredients
400gm brown rice
1T dried sea vegetable*
1t sea salt
350g firm tofu, sliced
8 baby beetroots, trimmed and thinly shaved on a mandolin
1 golden shallot, thinly shaved on a mandolin
Radish cress and torn nori, to serve
Crumbled seaweed crackers and shichimi togarashi**, to serve

For the pickled carrot
1 carrot, cut into julienne
2T rice vinegar
2T mirin
2T sesame oil
1T ginger, finely grated

Method
Combine all of the ingredients for the pickled carrot in a bowl, season to taste and stand at room temperature to pickle for 1 hour. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.
Place the rice, sea vegetable, 750ml water and 1t sea salt in a saucepan, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook without uncovering for 50 minutes. Remove from the heat and stand covered for 10 minutes, then uncover and fluff up the rice with a fork.
Divide the warm rice among four serving bowls and top with the tofu, beetroots, shallot, pickled carrot and pickling liquid to taste. Garnish with the radish cress, nori and seaweed crackers, season to taste with shichimi togarashi and serve.
Wine suggestion: Tangy, skin-contact white wine.

*Dried sea vegetable is available from Asian grocers and health food shops. **Shichimi togarashi, a Japanese spice blend, is available from Asian and Japanese grocers.