Get In on the Latest Dining Trend With This Easy Tuna Poke Bowl

If 2015 was the year that acai bowls hit mainstream, spreading from niche juice shops and hippie-vibe caf├ęs to Jamba Juice, poke is the bowl food to watch for in 2016. A traditional Hawaiian seafood preparation – take bite-size pieces of raw fish like ahi tuna, salmon, or octopus, marinade it in soy sauce and in essence you have poke (pronounced POH-keh) – poke was (and continues to be) a major trend in the Los Angeles dining scene last year.

While your neighborhood might not yet have its own build-your-own-poke-bowl spot, it’s easy to get in on this delicious trend. Similar to a Japanese chirashi bowl, poke bowls are much simpler to assemble than they may seem. Whisk together a simple soy-sesame marinade, cube up avocado and sushi-grade tuna, gently toss it all together, and serve the poke over room-temperature rice. Add-ins are fun – we’re partial to seaweed salad and pickled ginger, for their ease and intensity of flavor – but aren’t necessary for enjoyment.

We suggest bookmarking (or pinning) this recipe for the next time you want to impress with a minimum of effort (really, the shopping is the most crucial part here). Or, halve the recipe and treat yourself to a light, but decadent-seeming dinner.

Poke Bowl With Avocado

From Nicole Perry, POPSUGAR Food

Notes

Cut the tuna and avocado into bite-size pieces (roughly 3/4-inch). Many grocery store sushi counters sell seaweed salad; if you can’t find it, it’s not essential to the dish. Sushi-grade salmon can be substituted for the tuna, if you prefer a milder fish.

Ingredients

  1. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  2. 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  3. 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  4. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  5. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  6. 1 pound sushi-grade ahi tuna, cubed
  7. 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
  8. 1 avocado
  1. For serving:
  2. Cooked brown rice, at room temperature
  3. Seaweed salad, optional
  4. Pickled ginger, optional

Directions

  1. Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and seeds, and red pepper flakes in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cubed tuna and scallions, gently stir together to dress the tuna. Marinade for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pit and cube the avocado (the chunks should be of a similar size to the tuna. Add to the tuna, and gently mix together to distribute the avocado.
  3. To serve, scoop rice into bowls, top with tuna poke, seaweed salad, and a few pieces of pickled ginger.

8 Things You Never Knew About Trader Joe’s, Straight From a Former Employee

I spoke to a former employee who worked at Trader Joe’s for a year, and he gave me the inside scoop on how the company is run, the little-known details of the return policy, and what the point of those somewhat-annoying bells is. Spoiler alert: there’s no real dirt (I tried!), but what I got was interesting, behind-the-scenes intel that made me an even bigger fan of the store.

There’s a reason the customer service is so good.

Trader Joe’s strategy in providing a quality customer-service experience is simple: overstaff. “They totally overstaff so that you don’t feel like your stocking duties or your register duties trump interacting with customers – they encourage you to be nice to customers.” That’s why you can almost always find someone in a Hawaiian t-shirt or crew-member uniform walking around and waiting to help you find anything.

The employees try all the new products so they know what to tell customers.

“Each Trader Joe’s has a break room, and they have one person who’s in charge of cooking new stuff that the store gets and making it available for the entire staff who comes through the store that day to try it. They want you to try all the products so you can have an opinion so that when you recommend stuff to people, it’s not baseless.”

The pay is REALLY good.

This guy started out at Trader Joe’s making $12/hour, which was above the state’s minimum wage. You not only start out making a good amount, but it gets even better quickly. After three months of working more than 30 hours a week, you get health insurance and a 401K. You’ll also likely get a raise once or twice a year. A friend of this employee worked at Trader Joe’s for over five years and made $21/hour – that’s an annual salary of $42K.

They donate all unsold food.

“Trader Joe’s donates a ton of food. It’s called ‘spoils,’ which just means it’s not in perfect shape. There’s nothing wrong with eating a lime with a couple brown spots, but if you wouldn’t buy it and be excited about buying it, then it gets put with spoils and typically gets donated. They donate flowers, produce – everything – to local organizations.”

There’s a method behind the bell ringing.

You’ve sometimes noticed employees ringing bells while you’re checking out, right? There’s a method to the madness, and it’s sort of like the store’s secret language for various customer-service needs. “One bell means everyone to your register, which means the lines are getting too long and they need everyone at a register. Two bells means you need an employee to come over and help with something. For example, let’s say the bag of spinach you bought is partially opened or looks bad; you ring two bells and an employee will come over and grab a new one for you. Three bells means a manager needs to come over.”

Every store has an in-house artist.

“Literally all of the signage around the store is custom-made by two or three artists who hang out in the back and almost exclusively do that, and register work every once in a while.” That’s why every store has location-based art throughout the store – pretty cool, right?

You can return ANYTHING.

Seriously, you could open a bag of popcorn, try it, and bring it back if you didn’t like it – for a full refund. “You see that a lot. You get people who come back and say, ‘Hey, I tried it, but I didn’t really like it.'” Excuse me while I go try every single thing in the snack aisle.

They strive to create an experience that’s beyond grocery shopping.

“They really push this whole, ‘we don’t want you to feel like you’re just grocery shopping’ thing. They want it to be an experience – something that pulls you out of the monotony of your everyday life.”

The Best Frozen Entrees From Trader Joe’s, Hands Down

In case you haven’t ever explored the magical place that is the frozen aisle at Trader Joe’s, let us enlighten you. There’s no shame in turning to frozen meals when you have zero time to cook, but if you’re going to do it, you should know what’s actually worth buying. Keep reading to find out which frozen meals POPSUGAR editors pick up and why, and look for them on your next Trader Joe’s run.

The Best Recipes That Start With a Can of Crescent Dough

Refrigerated crescent dough, so flaky and buttery, tastes like childhood when baked up into croissant rolls, but more and more people are incorporating the dough into recipes. From strawberry cinnamon rolls to pizza roll-ups, one of these crescent roll recipes will inspire you to pop open a can.

20 Things to Let Go of in Your Kitchen in 2017

There’s no better time to take a really good look at your kitchen and get rid of sh*t you don’t need than the New Year. Make 2017 the year you finally get rid of unwanted clutter, extra kitchen gadgets, and years-old spices, and you’ll feel a huge sense of relief every time you step into your kitchen. Ahead, get an idea of the 20 things you really don’t need and that you should get rid of ASAP if you want to be more organized than ever this year.

51 Bite-Size Apps Perfect For Super Bowl 51

Fact: the best part of the Super Bowl is the food. Even if you care about #sports, it’s hard to concentrate on the game when there are buffalo chicken meatballs, bacon-wrapped shrimp, and mini mac ‘n’ cheese bites sitting right in front of you. We’ve rounded up the 51 best finger foods for Super Bowl 51 to make any game-day party easy and ridiculously good. Pass the homemade pizza rolls, please!

The 20 Most Comforting Ina Garten Recipes to Make in This Lifetime

If you’re searching for comfort foods, you’ll likely end up landing on Ina Garten’s recipes. The Barefoot Contessa has developed a well-deserved reputation as the queen of doable, crowd-pleasing, and comforting recipes, both savory and sweet. Consider this your official Ina Garten bucket list of the popular recipes you have to make at least once, like baked fontina dip, cinnamon doughnuts, mustard-roasted chicken, and more. These 20 recipes will make you an even bigger fan of the Food Network host and Cooking For Jeffrey author.

41 Easy Work Lunches That Aren’t Salads or Sandwiches

If you’ve resolved to take more lunches to work, you’ve likely resorted to salads and sandwiches most of the time. And that’s fine! But if we’re being honest, you can only take so many leafy greens and cold turkey sandwiches before you’ve fallen into a rut and begun dreading lunchtime instead of looking forward to it. If that sounds like you, you need one of these hot lunch recipes in your life. From pastas to soups and more, these 41 recipes can be made ahead of time and make for the perfect lunch – one that you’ll actually look forward to heating up and eating at your desk.