DIY Poke Bowl Bar

Poke. The trend that is slowly trying (and both sadly and happily failing) to turn NYC into the laid back coastal city of San Francisco. If you are from California, then I am jealous of you for many reasons. One being that you are fortunate enough to have already enjoyed this refreshing dish for the many years it finally took us New Yorkers to get our shit together and hop on board. I love all forms of seafood: grilled fish, sushi, sashimi, shellfish, raw bars (my form of heaven), and creatures that many scurry away from (I’m looking at you baby octopus with all 8 tentacles attached). That being said, I had never experimented in the kitchen with preparing and consuming raw fish. Is it because I live in Manhattan and don’t fully trust the seafood I purchase enough to eat it raw? Honestly, probably. So with the combination of my summer weekends spent at the beach near the ocean / much more trustworthy fish, and the inspiration of my good friend, it was time to test my kitchen skills and tackle poke bowls. After a weekend filled with hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, and one too many scoops of ice cream, Sunday night called for a light, yet also somehow filling, dinner to start the week off right. I set out that afternoon and headed to the fish market both bloated and determined to impress my parents. The result of this excursion was a DIY poke bowl station that took under 45 minutes to prepare but won the title of “one of my dad’s top 3 favorite meals this summer”. Boom. Mission complete.

Ingredients (serves 4):
• Sushi grade tuna (3.5lbs) – very important this is fresh tuna and from a market that you trust
• Brown rice (½ cup)
• Zucchini (2)
• Avocado (2)
• Cucumber (1)
• Jalapeño (2)
• Coconut aminos (2 tablespoons) – can be replaced with soy sauce
• Sesame oil (1 teaspoon)
• Avocado oil (1 teaspoon)
• Honey (1 teaspoon)
• Wasabi paste (1 teaspoon)
• Optional toppings (that unfortunately I was unable to buy or find at the beach): nori flakes, seaweed salad, ginger

Directions:
1. Prepare and cook the rice: rinse the ½ cup of rice under water in a strainer, place in the pot and toast lightly for ~2 minutes. Once slightly fragrant, add in 1 ¼ cups of water, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce for a simmer and leave to cook until all of the water is absorbed. Once the water is absorbed, turn off the heat and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Do not remove the lid for the entirety of this process
2. Prepare the zoodles: using a spiralizer, cut the zoodles to your preferred size. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 425 for ~5 minutes
3. Cut the tuna into ½ inch cubes
4. Prepare the poke sauce: in a bowl combine and mix 2 tablespoon coconut aminos, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspon avocado oil, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
5. Once the sauce is prepared, add the tuna into the bowl and mix until all pieces are coated. Allow to sit in the refrigerator and marinate for ~30 minutes
6. Prepare the vegetable toppings: peel and cut the cucumber and avocado into 1/4 inch pieces and cut the jalapeño into disks
Place each ingredient in a separate bowl and allow your guests to create their own combination!

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