July 31, 2013

‘Ahi - Tuna (Poke Part 2)

If you'd like to try out poke, the most common type you'll encounter is ‘ahi. It's the Hawaiian word for tuna and the word is used almost exclusively - I don't think I've ever seen "tuna" unless it was referring to the canned type.

In case you're a big fish aficionado, ‘ahi can refer to both the yellowfin (kihada) and big eye (mebachi) varieties. Since yellowfin is more common, it's less expensive, and more likely to be used in poke. This helpful seafood website gives Hawaiian names for fish, as well as its sustainability and other interesting facts. Since the Hawaiian and English names for some fish are both used here, I never could keep them straight and this site cleared it up a bit for me.

In case raw fish sounds a little, ahem, fishy to you, keep in mind most cultures have a specialty raw fish recipe. There's ceviche, carpaccio and sashimi, to name a few. The nice thing about poke, compared to sashimi is the sauce. Of course you enjoy the flavor of the ‘ahi, but it is covered in other delicious flavors, like sesame and onion, to help mask the fish if you're worried you won't like it. It's also cut into bite-sized chunks to make it easier to eat. And share! By ordering it with friends, you get to try it without worrying about wasting a whole plate if you don't enjoy it.

But you should order it, because you will probably like it! If you want even less risk, ask to try a piece of ‘ahi (pronounced ah-hee) at a poke counter.

‘Ahi may be the most common seafood in poke, but can you guess what I'll cover next?

(This is part 2 in a series on poke. Click here for part 1.)


  1. Replies
    1. Anonymous7/31/2013


    2. You are correct! I was hoping to do something with tako/taco. I might steal the pic :)

  2. Anonymous7/31/2013

    Now I'm hungry. Thanks a lot. My dad, a weekend fisherman, would apply these freshness/usage rules to his catch:
    Day 1: Sashimi
    Day 2: Poke
    Day 3: Fried poke

    Are you taking post topic suggestions? If so, I'd like to see a blind taste test between the fresh poke and the previously frozen poke which costs half as much. Or you can host a tasting party with some of your awesome girlfriends, and we can go on a quest for the best poke on the island. Just a hint. ;) K

    1. I didn't know that, although it totally makes sense! I haven't tried it fried yet... I love suggestions - let's do the poke tasting after learning about dim sum :)