The Aloha Tuna Poké Bowl at Honest Mary’s in Austin is a summer staple that’s healthy, delicious, and surprisingly easy to make at home. Since many of us are at home now more than ever, we’ve all been a little more inclined to experiment with new recipes, and this poke bowl adds a little adventure to lunch or dinner if you find yourself running out of fresh ideas for recipes.
In our recent interview with the restaurant’s founders Nelson and Mary, they shared the recipe and tips for whipping up this amazing bowl at home. Read on for their foolproof steps to recreate their ahi tuna, sesame vinaigrette, basmati rice, asian slaw, and pickled onions at home. This is one you won’t want to miss out on before summer ends – and it might satisfy some vacation cravings while you’re at it.
Tell us about the Ahi Tuna Poké Bowl – we’re obsessed.
This is the bowl that almost wasn’t. (But we’re so glad that it is!) When we constructed our original menu for the restaurant, poke wasn’t much of a consideration. We were focused on vegetable-heavy grain bowls with more traditional protein options (chicken, steak, tofu). But we couldn’t deny that the poke trend was on the rise (poke is a popular Hawaiian dish focused around raw Yellowfin (ahi) tuna). So we thought, what the heck, let’s create a recipe and see if we like it. Well, we loved it so much that poke just had to make the menu.
Since opening, the Aloha Poke has consistently proven to be one of our most popular bowls. And while it’s popularity isn’t necessarily seasonal, its cool and refreshing profile makes it especially shine in the summertime.
How to make the Honest Mary’s Ahi Poke Bowl at home:
1. Start with the Ahi tuna.
The focal ingredient in this bowl is of course the Yellowfin (Ahi) tuna. We source a top-shelf tuna with the following standards:
- Wild, hand-line caught using “one line / one fish” catching practices
- Sashimi grade tuna
- Hand Cut
- Part of FIP sustainable project
The bottom line here: use great tuna from a reputable fish market. We personally go to a quality seafood market and ask the fishmonger to cut a fresh hunk of Yellowfin tuna off the loin. You’ll want to aim for about 4 oz of tuna per person (up to 6 or 8 oz if you’re really hungry!).
2. Whisk up the sesame vinaigrette.
One of the great things about this bowl is that the sesame vinaigrette serves multiple purposes: it marinates the Poke, seasons the Asian Slaw, and serves as the finishing sauce. Although this is a slight variation of our signature vinaigrette recipe, it’s just as delicious and can be used on just about anything you need to add a little Asian kick to.
3. Cook up your basmati rice base.
The base for our poke bowl will be warm, freshly cooked basmati rice. It’s the only warm item in the bowl, which provides a very nice contrast to the cold tuna and toppings. For home cooking, we’ll keep things really simple here. Any simple basmati rice recipe you find online should work, but the one we’ve included in the recipe card section below can work just fine.
4. Finish with your asian slaw and pickled onions.
The Asian slaw is super simple to make (since the Sesame Vinaigrette is already made!), and adds great texture and fullness to the bowl. The Pickled Onions are an X-factor. They’re sweet, salty and tangy all in one. And that beautiful pink color adds so much to the presentation. An additional plus: pickled onions are a great source of probiotics and great digestive qualities.
Scroll on for the recipe cards for each component of the bowl, and leave a comment and a rating if you give it a try!
For the Ahi Tuna Poke:
- 4 oz of fresh cubed ahi tuna per person (up to 6 or 8 oz if you’re really hungry!)
- 2 tablespoons sesame vinaigrette (*recipe below)
- 5 teaspoons cilantro, chopped
- 5 teaspoons green onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
- Cut the Ahi Tuna into thick cubes (aim for .75 - 1")
- Combine all ingredients together in mixing bowl; toss very gently
- No need to marinate; will be ready to eat immediately, and up to a few hours after marinating.
For the Sesame Vinaigrette:
- 1 cup avocado oil
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons tamari
- lime juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons green onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and chopped
- Blend all ingredients except both oils in a blender until smooth.
- Combine Avocado oil & Sesame oil in measuring cup with pour spout.
- While blender is still running, very slowly drizzle in the Avocado oil & Sesame oil so it's blended immediately into the sauce. Aim for drizzle to take 1-2 minutes.
For the Basmati Rice:
- 1 and 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Place basmati rice & water in rice cooker and begin cooking.
- Keep rice holding in cooker until ready to serve.
For the Asian Slaw:
- 1 head red cabbage
- 3 oz. sesame vinaigrette (*recipe above)
- Cut the cabbage into shreds (*cutting instructions here)
- Pour the Sesame Vinaigrette over the cabbage and gently toss.
For the Pickled Onions:
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
For the brine:
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- Bring all ingredients for brine to a boil
- Let boil for 10 minutes
- Put Red Onions, sliced thinly in large container
- Pour hot liquid over onions & let sit for 1 hour
- Place stopper in sink
- Place hot container (with onions inside) into the sink
- Surround the outside of the container with ice and water, making sure it goes above the level of the onions in the container.
- Stir periodically to release heat
- When cooled down, place pickled onions in fridge.
To Create the Aloha Poke Bowl:
- 4 oz marinated poke (*recipe above)
- 4 oz cooked basmati rice (*recipe above)
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 5 oz asian slaw (*recipe above)
- 2 oz edamame, raw
- 2 oz pickled onions (*recipe above)
- 1 oz fresh jalapeños, thinly sliced
- 2 oz sesame vinaigrette (*recipe above)
- Black sesame seeds, as desired
- Prep the Poke, Basmati Rice, Asian Slaw, Pickled Onion, and Sesame Vinaigrette recipes. (*above)
- Construct the bowl by neatly placing the Poke, Rice, Asian Slaw and Edamame in separate sections of the bowl.
- Place the Avocado, Jalapeños, and Pickled onions on top.
- Sprinkle Black Sesame Seeds over all the ingredients.
- Drizzle Sesame Vinaigrette over the top of the bowl.