Shoyu 'Ahi Poke

Aubrie Pick

This is the classic poke, the one that you probably think of when you hear the word. It showcases the evolution of the dish over the decades, with the more prized ‘ahi tuna replacing bony reef fish, the nutty richness of sesame oil stepping in for ‘inamona, crunchy raw yellow onion replacing the limu, and shoyu (soy sauce)—a staple in Hawai‘i, thanks to the Japanese-influenced culture—for salt. At popular poke counters, you’ll find this base mixed with all sorts of seafood, such as salmon, kajiki (blue marlin), or abalone, and even non-seafood, like tomatoes or edamame.

The Poke Cookbook by Martha ChengThe Poke Cookbook by Martha Cheng


  • 1 pound sushi-grade tuna, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow onion 
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (green parts only) 
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek


1.  In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Fold gently until evenly distributed. Taste, and adjust with more soy sauce as desired.
2.  Serve immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to a day. If you let the poke marinate, taste it again right before serving; you may want to add another splash of soy sauce.

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Reprinted from The Poke Cookbook. Copyright © 2017 by Martha Cheng. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Serves 4

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