How to Beat the Heat – Ahi Poke and Caprese Salad

Ahi Poke

While this year is much better than last year, it’s still HOT. We were at 108 F with humidity of 30%. This is just downright miserable temperature and our electric bill is out of sight. The garden is on perpetual life support right now so harvesting fresh greens is out of the question. So what to do for dinner?

Baby Lady and I love tuna. We also love tomatoes. Our local market always carries fresh bluefin tuna flown in fresh from Hawaii daily. It’s always wonderful and it was on sale so we bought some. While we were there we noticed they had beautiful fresh East Texas tomatoes so we bought them, too. Now that we had them, what to do? Well, tonight was a no heat up the house night. No oven, no stove. Just simple, light, delicious fare. Hawaiian style ahi poke with a caprese salad. You cannot go wrong with this meal when it’s hotter than Hades outside. Baby Lady took care of the caprese while I took care of the poke. While it may seem odd, this was a remarkably successful paring. The bright acidity of the caprese salad went well with the salty fattiness of the poke. Delicious and cool!


For the caprese salad

  • 1 large East Texas tomato, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 Tbsp basil, chiffonade
  • Buffalo Mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Balsamic vinegar reduction
  • Pick Salt to taste
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup caramelized sliced onion

For the Poke

  • 12 oz Bluefin tuna, diced into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, diced
  • 2 Tbsp gluten free, organic soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Pele’s Fire macadamia nut oil infused with chile
  • 1 tsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp garlic chives, sliced thinly
  • chardonnay salt, to taste
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For the caprese

Caprese salads are truly simple to do. Baby Lady makes a variation on a traditional caprese by adding caramelized onions. Caramelize the onions over medium heat. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese and chiffonade the basil. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar reduction on the plate. Place the tomato and mozzarella slices on the plate alternating between the tomato and mozzarella. Sprinkle the basil over the top along with some pink finishing salt and serve the caramelized onion on the side. Aint this a beautiful dish?

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For the Poke:

No poke isn’t bait! It is a fabulous dish. It’s just as easy as the caprese. Dice the tuna

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Add the sliced red onion

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Add the garlic chives

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Add the soy sauce, the sesame seed oil, and Pele’s Fire Macadamia Nut Chili oil.

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Toss to incorporate. Place a square mold on a plate. Spoon poke into mold. Add diced avocado. Remove from mold

Ahi Poke

sprinkle with Chardonnay salt. Serve & enjoy!

Ahi Poke

22 thoughts on “How to Beat the Heat – Ahi Poke and Caprese Salad”

  1. I just had an insalata caprese for lunch today with bufala mozzarella and cherry tomatoes from the garden. This is why I grow tomatoes! Living here in Chicago, i wouldn’t know where to find freshly caught blue tuna. It’s a safe bet that any tuna I do find, will have been frozen before it got here. If I ever do find some, though, I’ll be sure to come back here. This sounds fantastic, Richard, and looks incredible!

    1. Thanks, John. I’m glad you liked it. I wish our garden would grow tomatoes. We just have very little success with them. It gets too hot too early so the fruit won’t set and we get blossom drop. I get lots of beautiful green tomatoes in the fall when temperatures are cooler but they never ripen before the first freeze. 😦 As for fresh bluefin in Chitown, I’m certain there is a fishmonger that has it flown in fresh. You need to call one of the finer sushi bars and inquire where they get the ahi for their sushi.

    1. Thanks for your nice comment, Karen. We love Ahi Poke. The wonder of air cargo has changed the world of food; otherwise, we wouldn’t get sushi grade tuna in Dallas. Of course, the best tuna I have ever had is still hawaii but I haven’t been to Tokyo, yet.

    1. Thanks for dropping by and your nice comment. We love meals like this on hot evenings and lately we have had quite a few. Kajiki (blue marlin) makes a great fish for poke, too. If you make one, post it so I can see your approach to poke. It’s always fun to see the different things people do.

  2. I can’t believe you found ahi at the farmer’s market in Texas!! Your photos makes me happy and sad at the same time, man I miss eating fresh poke!!! Even your salt looks gorgeous. sigh…..

    1. Oops, we found the ahi at our local market, not a farmer’s market. I guess I wasn’t very clear. Our local market is a large gourmet super market that has lots of local foods, a huge fish market, meats, etc.

        1. We will be glad to but we ate all if it so I will have to make some more. I would love to find some fresh blue marlin so I can make a kajiki poke. I like that as much as the ahi poke.

        2. Sashimi-wise I don’t care for au, but as poke it’s not too bad with all the seasonings. Then again, it could be that I only had junk pieces for sashimi, so I can’t be too critical!

  3. Looks delicious! Even though we’ve had only few days over 70 and none over 80 so far this ‘summer’. I’ve only been to Hawaii once and loved the ahi but never had poke. I did notice they used lots of macademia nuts. Quite sure I can’t get the macademia oil here, and certainly not chile infused. Any substitute recommendations? I’d probably also have to settle for regular chives and regular salt…

    1. Hi Stefan. Thanks for the compliment. 🙂 We use the Pele’s Fire because we had it on hand and I wanted a little kick to the poke. You can use any chili oil. We just like the sweetness of the macadamia nut oil. You can find it online at Amazon for US$ 6.75 but I have no idea the shipping cost or if you can even import it into NL. As for the garlic chives, I grow them and like to use them whenever I can. You don’t need them but they add a slight garlic flavor and some color to the dish. Most Hawaiian poke has seaweed but I can’t get that fresh in Texas. For a little texture, you can add flying fish roe if you can find it. It’s typically sold in frozen blocks and isn’t too expensive.

  4. Your poke recipe is great! I love ahi poke. I added radish sprouts and masago and cut everthing small/med dice, mixed it all together and served it in a martini glass (like my fav sushi place). It was amazing. 🙂

    1. Thanks for dropping by, trying the recipe and taking the time to post your very nice comment. 🙂 We love to hear from people who try the food. I’m sure the addition of the radish sprouts and masago made this incredibly delicious. Thanks again.

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