Ellen's Fancy Poke

This recipe has a few extra steps, but you'll agree that the end result is worth a few more minutes in the kitchen. If you have ponzu on hand, you can use it instead of the mixture below.

Makes 3 to 4 servings


  • 12 ounce albacore tuna loin, frozen
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, or 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mixed fresh citrus juice (lemon, lime, grapefruit)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sambal olek or other chili paste, or more to taste
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal (white and green parts)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 avocado, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • Sushi rice for serving


Start with a frozen tuna loin that has been slightly defrosted, cutting the tuna partially frozen makes for better Poke. 

After you carefully cut the fish into 1/2-inch cubes set it aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

Make the ponzu by combining the soy sauce, citrus juice, mirin and sesame oil. Set aside.

Whisk the rice wine vinegar and sugar together.  And add to the cucumber with the jalapeno. Set aside for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour.

Whisk the mayonnaise with the sambal. 

Just before serving, toss the tuna with the cucumbers, scallions, and ponzu. Season to taste with salt. Add the avocado and half of the sesame seeds.  Toss to combine and serve on sushi rice garnished with a dollop of spicy mayo and more toasted sesame seeds.