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Ahi Ahi

July 10, 2020
Duo of Ahi Tuna
Pg. 19
Dara, Season 1
14 down…85 to go!

Pan-seared block of Ahi Ahi poke on a pan-seared rice patty with a side of roasted asparagus

I have been drooling over this appetizer since the day I got the MasterChef Cookbook. I went to high school on the Big Island of Hawaii, and usually had poke several times a week; I really miss having it so often. I currently live in Texas, and I have been fortunate enough to find one good poke place within about 10 minutes of my house, but in Hawaii, you couldn’t drive five minutes without passing somewhere that served it.

For those who don’t know what poke is: it’s a raw style of serving various types of fish (like ahi or salmon), usually cubed, marinated, and seasoned. You can eat it just like that or on top of rice or greens. It is best served with delicious toppings like onion, cucumber, avocado, sauces, and more. In my opinion, the more the better!

It was a treat having the ahi prepared two different ways: poke-style and pan-seared (though I will always favor the poke-style). Even my fella, Chad, who I’ve mentioned is not a big seafood fan (silly boy), really enjoyed this meal, which means I get to add it to our rotating list of favorite weeknight meals!

While I enjoyed the pan-seared rice patty, it was a new take on rice for me, so when I make this next time, I’ll probably stick to my roots and just serve it as a poke bowl with the rice as is. Plus, I’ll add all the delicious toppings I mentioned above. Great. Now I’m drooling again.

What did I do differently?

  • I used low sodium soy sauce, or shoyu, as it’s called in Hawaii. I cannot believe how much sodium is in regular soy sauce, so we always have low sodium in our house. Also, I used extra shoyu because the teenager in me said, “Don’t stop! Poke needs much more shoyu than that!”
  • When making the rice, I used techniques I’ve learned by watching Tasty 101, a food section of Buzzfeed that has branched out to a series of amazingly helpful cooking videos. To add incredible flavor to your steamed rice, sauté some scallion whites and minced ginger before adding your rice to the dish. You won’t regret it.
  • The recipe originally calls to be served with Sea Bean. Don’t know what that is? I didn’t either. Apparently it’s often referred to as “sea asparagus.” The cookbook offered a little tip: if you don’t live near the ocean (which is my case, unfortunately), simply substitute it with green beans or asparagus. I went with asparagus, one of my favorite veggies. YUM.
  • I didn’t have black sesame seeds on hand, which is what Dara used in her dish, and didn’t want to shell out five extra bucks on that when I already had white sesame seeds on hand. Next time, I may toast them though, for more flavor.

All my love,
Dani, a big tid

P.S. How do you feel about eating raw fish? I know it really weirds some people out. Not me, obviously. I also LOVE steak tartar (beef served raw). I love sushi and sashimi and poke and pretty much all seafood. I don’t care if it’s still swimming. I wanna eat it.

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  1. I gotta say this entree really turned me into eating more tuna at home and after the scallops and crab before it I guess I’m starting to like seafood again…a little

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