Meaning to section or slice, poke is the Polynesian staple taking Instagram by storm – and Guy Jackson and Celia Ferrar's recipes taste as good as they look

Ahi poke Hawaiian style

Our homage to a contemporary Hawaiian-style poke, traditionally served with limu kohu (seaweed) and Hawaiian salt. We’ve tried to create a similar version with variations on these classic ingredients. Hopefully the taste will transport you to the islands! Cook the rice as per the cooking instructions (* see below) and leave to cool.


240g white sushi rice


400g fresh yellowfin tuna, cut into 1.5cm cubes
2tbsp sliced Maui or sweet white onion
4tbsp spring onions (scallions), just the green tops, finely sliced
½tsp toasted white sesame seeds
½tsp toasted black sesame seeds
​1tsp alaea or Hawaiian sea salt (sea salt or Himalayan salt are good alternatives)


4tsp toasted sesame oil
2tbsp tamari soy sauce
1tsp grated fresh ginger
1tsp black sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1tsp white sesame seeds, lightly toasted

In a large mixing bowl combine the tuna, white onion, half of the spring onions, half of the black and white sesame seeds, and the salt. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl, add to the tuna and thoroughly combine. Serve immediately or leave to marinate for up to 1 hour.

Once ready to serve, spoon the cooked rice into 4 bowls and top with the fish and marinade. Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds and spring onions loosely over the top of the dish.

Pimp it: with beetroot pickled baby corn, lotus root crisps and a few edible violet flowers.

* Cooking rice

Perfectly cooked, tender grains of rice are an ideal base for any poke bowl. While rice cookers offer an easy and reliable route to fluffy rice heaven, hob cooking is easy enough to master. We use white, brown or black short-grain rice in our recipes. Cooking techniques vary for each, so follow the steps below carefully, depending on the grain you have selected. The following method will yield approximately 480g cooked rice.

Step 1: Weigh out 240g rice and place in a saucepan with a close-fitting lid.
Step 2: Rinse! Cover the rice with cold water and, using your hand, stir gently to release the excess starch from the grains. Drain and repeat until the water stops turning cloudy.
Step 3: Once fully rinsed and drained, cover the rice with the following amount of cold water:

White rice – 240ml 
Brown rice – 360ml
Black rice – 480ml (soak black rice for up to 1 hour before cooking)

Step 4: Place the saucepan on a medium-high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Cover, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook for the following length of time:

White rice – 15-20 minutes
Brown rice – 20 minutes
Black rice – 30 minutes

Step 5: Once the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and leave, covered, to steam for a further 10 minutes.
Step 6: Now you can turn the rice out into a wooden sushi rice bowl, if you have one. Using a rice paddle or wooden spoon, gently fold and turn the cooked rice, allowing the steam to evaporate.
Step 7: At this stage, we like to season the freshly cooked rice. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of mirin with 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, plus 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ a teaspoon of salt. Drizzle the mixture over the hot rice while gently folding to coat each grain.
Step 8: The rice should now be left for 10 minutes to cool before using for your poke bowl.


Mexican Ahi with Sweetcorn in Smoky Mayo

Serves 4

Our slightly more sophisticated take on a classic tuna and sweetcorn combination. The smoky mayo is really addictive, so be careful. Liquid smoke is a cheat, but you will add it to everything once you have it in the cupboard.


240g white sushi rice
100g tinned black beans (drained weight), rinsed
 ½ bunch coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped


2 sweetcorn cobs, husks removed
2tsp groundnut oil (or other light flavourless oil)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
pinch of salt
squeeze of lemon
1 lime, cut into quarters


400g fresh yellowfin tuna, cut into 1.5cm cubes


3tbsp mayonnaise
1tsp liquid smoke
 ½ lemon, freshly squeezed

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Cook the sushi rice as per the cooking instructions and leave to cool. Once cool, Add the black beans and coriander, mix and set aside.

For the garnish, coat the corn in a little oil and then cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Once the corn is cool enough, char it on the flame of the hob. Once blackened, hold the corn cobs vertically on a chopping board and carefully remove the kernels using a sharp knife. Soak the red onion in water with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt for 15 minutes.

Combine the tuna with the marinade ingredients. Assemble the dish, starting with the rice and bean mix, then the marinated tuna and the corn. Drain and dry the red onion and place on top. Serve each bowl with a wedge of lime and green chilli.

Pimp it: with green chilli, sliced in rounds. 


Sea bass ceviche with green papaya slaw

The classic Thai green papaya salad, som tam, perfectly balances sweet, salty and sour flavours with an underbelly of spice from the red chillies. Here, we have topped it with a sea bass ceviche lightly cured in lime and coconut milk for extra tropical zing.


juice of 10 limes
4tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
6tbsp fish sauce
2tbsp soft brown sugar
2 mild red chillies, finely diced


240g green mango, julienned
​360g green papaya, julienned
​160g carrots, julienned
​360g heritage tomatoes, deseeded and cut into eighths
2 large handfuls fresh coriander (cilantro)
leaves and stems, finely chopped


120ml tinned full-fat coconut milk
140ml freshly squeezed
lime juice
60ml cold water
1 mild red chilli, finely diced
1tsp sea salt


2 large fresh sea bass, filleted, pin boned and skin removed, cut into 1cm cubes

Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing until the sugar has dissolved. Toss with the prepared vegetables for the slaw and set to one side. To make the marinade, combine the coconut milk, lime juice and water, in a separate bowl. Add the sea bass cubes and mix in, along with the chilli and salt. Allow to marinate for 5 minutes. To serve, divide the slaw among 4 bowls, then top with the sea bass ceviche.

Pimp it: with roasted cashew nuts, chopped. 

Poke: Hawaiian-Inspired Sushi Bowls by Celia Farrar and Guy Jackson (Hardie Grant, £12.99) Photography © Matt Russell