Yellowfin Tuna Poke Recipe



We just returned home from an amazing trip to Panama with a TON of tuna…I’m talking 5 Yeti coolers full of vacuum-sealed fresh yellowfin tuna. Clay got one tuna spearfishing and I (with the help of a friend and a very experienced guide) got the other one using a rod and reel. It was one of the coolest fishing experiences I have ever had. The ocean in Panama is so alive and landing one of these big tunas is a pretty high-energy experience. You determine the location of the tuna by looking for schools of jumping porpoises as the schools of tuna travel with the porpoises because the porpoises push the bait fish to the surface providing a convenient feeding ground for the tuna. Once you spot the jumping porpoises you speed the boat to get ahead of the school and then drop your line with a bait fish and pray for a bite. We were fishing with Carter Andrews who has this process down to a science, so getting the fish on the line was pretty easy. The HARD part was getting the fish into the boat.  It seriously took my friend and me over an hour and a half to get an estimated 100 pound tuna into the boat and my arm almost fell off in the process. We persevered though, and with a little help from Carter, successfully got the fish on the boat and into the ice. This battle to land the fish greatly increased my desire to use every single ounce of the tuna to create food that was both delicious and nutritious to share with family and friends. The chef at Islas Secas (the resort where we stayed in Panama) was amazing and would make sashimi, sushi rolls, poke and entrees using our fresh catch each day. Now back in Texas, I’m trying out new tuna recipes to make use of all the fish we brought home. This poke recipe is hands-down one of my favorite dishes to create with tuna. I had it for lunch yesterday and served it to Clay with some chips as an appetizer before dinner. You can enjoy it on its own or eat it with chips (plantain, root vegetable or tortilla are my favorites).



Not our best photo, but this is real life what you look like after fighting a 100 pound tuna in 100% humidity.

Now for more pretty poke pictures…








Yellowfin Tuna Poke
Serves 4
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  1. 1 pound sushi grade tuna, cut into small chunks
  2. 1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced
  3. ¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced
  4. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  5. 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  6. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  7. ½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  8. ½ tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  9. ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you want to increase spice)
  10. Salt + pepper to taste
  11. Optional – ½ avocado, small diced
  1. In a small bowl whish together soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice and rice wine vinegar
  2. In a large non-reactive bowl combine tuna chunks, diced cucumber and green onions
  3. Drizzle the soy sauce mixture over the tuna and vegetables and stir well to combine
  4. Add the red pepper flakes and toasted sesame seeds and stir well to combine
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving
  7. If adding avocado, add just before serving
  1. Serves 4 as a lunch or 8 as an appetizer
The Petite Piglet


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