Tuna, orange and beetroot poke

Tuna, orange and beetroot poke

Mowie Kay

In a classic poke (pronounced po-kay), any very acidic citrus is almost incidental and added at the last minute as the fish should be raw, not “cooked”. I have taken some of the classic elements and added beetroot (beet), as I like its sweet, earthy flavours here. You don’t have to use tuna – any oily fish would work, including mackerel.


Quantity Ingredient
2 oranges
or 4 mandarins
400g extremely fresh well-chilled tuna, or other oily fish
2 medium-sized cooked beetroot, peeled and diced
1 avocado, diced
2 spring onions, finely chopped
sea salt

For the dressing

Quantity Ingredient
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander stems, (save the leaves for serving)
1 lime, Finely grated zest
1 mandarin, Finely grated zest, (optional – only if the proper ones are in season)
2 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
a dash brown rice vinegar
a few drops sesame oil

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
1 lime, juiced
cooked sushi rice
or quinoa
or a few lettuce leaves
sesame seeds
a handful coriander leaves


  1. Segment the oranges or mandarins over a bowl to catch any juice, and set the segments aside. Squeeze out the peel and membranes into the juice.
  2. Make sure the tuna is extremely well chilled – in fact, it does no harm to freeze it for an hour before you want to use it, and makes it easier to cut. Cut into an even dice, around 1.5–2cm, place in a dish and sprinkle with salt. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and pour over the tuna. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 30–60 minutes, no longer.
  3. When you are ready to serve, put the tuna and its dressing in a serving bowl with the orange or mandarin segments, beetroot, avocado and spring onions. Mix the reserved juice with the lime juice and pour over the contents of the bowl. Fold very gently – you don’t want the beetroot to bleed too much or for the avocado to turn to mush.
  4. Serve with rice (traditional) or quinoa, or simply pile into lettuce leaves, sprinkled with sesame seeds and coriander leaves.
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