How Large To Cut Tuna Cubes For Poke

Poke bowls are rooted in Hawaiian culture thanks to a dish originally made by indigenous Polynesians, notes Michelin Guide. Poke originally consisted of raw fish caught on nearby reefs that were then cured and flavored with whatever was available, like sea salt, seaweed, algae, or nuts. In modern times, the main protein found in poke has shifted to ahi tuna as fishing boats trolled farther out from the shore. This species thrives in deep, warm tropical waters, like those surrounding Hawaii and Central America, says Crowd Cow. Ahi tuna is a versatile meat served raw for sushi, grilled, seared, or baked. The flesh starts a dark pink before turning white as it cooks.

For poke, ahi tuna (yellowfin) is served raw for contemporary Hawaiian cuisine, according to Food & Wine. One key to great-tasting poke is to find the freshest fish you can. If your local fish market doesn't have ahi tuna, consider other tuna species, fatty fishes like salmon, red snapper, halibut, or sea bass, which can act as a worthy substitute. How large you cube your chosen fish is another tip to make a fantastic presentation for bite-sized morsels when making poke at home.

Aim for ¼ to ½ inch depending on the dish

Chef Ravi Kapur of San Francisco's Liholiho Yacht Club told Food & Wine to cut ahi tuna into cubes between ¼ and ½ inch, and to do so with a sharp knife to prevent tearing or flaking. It depends on what type of poke you're making when deciding what size you should lean towards. Salads should get bigger cubes, about as long as the end of your pointer finger to the first joint. This is because you're using a fork to eat a poke salad (in a bowl) as opposed to finger food. Shoot for cubes half this size for appetizers because you could serve them on crackers or chips for individual servings. The bite-sized morsels will be packed with flavor and texture.

Kapur said poke is very easy to make at home, and simple, fresh ingredients make the ahi tuna shine. Another consideration is to build your poke in layers, notes Bon Appétit. Start with a bed of your favorite rice, greens, or noodles. Then layer on the fish cubes, before sprinkling on your dressing. Finally, top with your favorite add-ons, whether you prefer fruits, vegetables, garlic, onions, peppers, nuts, or spices. Feel free to experiment until you find the right taste and texture you enjoy the most. Aim for finding a poke that balances the flavors perfectly, without one overwhelming the others. Enjoy!