If you’ve spent anytime in Hawaii, then you know what the deal is: it’s all about the poke. And now more than ever poke is having a major moment on the mainland. I mean, sure, I love the boiled peanuts, a bowl of Saimin, and a great malasada (or ten) is a must, but it’s not really a trip to Hawaii without some poke.
If you haven’t had it, here’s the deal: poke (pronounced poh-kay) is like a Hawaiian-style ceviche—at its most basic, sushi-grade seafood is mixed with salt and onions. Lately, my favorite way of serving poke has been super untraditional as a sort of Mexican tostada with Hawaiian flavors. Anytime I spend more than a few weeks away from California, I start craving Mexican food, so this is a best-of-both-worlds situation for me.
You can mix it up and try these tostadas, or if you’re more of a purist, go ahead and just eat the poke and call it a day. Heck, you could even just make the slaw and use it whenever you need a quick side dish. But, the sum of this Spicy Ahi Poke Tostadas recipe is even better than its parts so I encourage you to try it out.
Spicy Ahi Poke Tostadas Recipe
- 1/2 pound sushi grade ahi tuna, salmon, or hamachi
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 to 1 whole jalapeño chile trimmed, seeded, and minced
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 sweet onion thinly sliced
- 4 scallions (aka green onions) thinly sliced
- 1 small Napa cabbage
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar, brown rice syrup, or honey
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 4 corn tortillas
- 1 tablespoon canola, grapeseed, or peanut oil
- 1/2 firm-ripe avocado
- Toasted sesame seeds or garnish (optional)
- Kewpie mayonnaise for garnish (optional)
- Make The Shoyu Poke: To cut the ahi, use a very sharp knife and cut it against the grain into 1/2-inch pieces. (If you are having a hard time slicing the fish, you can freeze it for just a few minutes to help firm it up and make it easier to cut. If you’re eating the poke on its own, go ahead and cut the fish into bigger (3/4 or 1-inch) pieces.)
- Combine ahi with the soy, chile, sesame oil, and sweet onion. Cover and refrigerate in the coldest part of the fridge or nest in the refrigerator in a bowl of ice water for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours to thoroughly chill. Stir in the scallions just before using. Meanwhile, make the slaw and tostadas.
- Make The Slaw: Halve the cabbage and notch out the core of the cabbage. Place the cabbage flat-side down on a board and slice crosswise into thin shreds (you want about 3 cups total). Mix with the rice wine vinegar, honey, and cilantro and set aside at least 5 minutes before using.
- Bake The Tostadas: Heat oven to 500°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Brush both sides of tortillas with the oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
- To serve, layer the tostada with a quarter of the slaw, top with a quarter of the poke, a few slices of avocado, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. As desired, drizzle with some mayonnaise and serve.