While in Lahaina, Maui a few years ago, I tried an Italian re-imagination of the famous Hawaiian “poke” recipe.  Typically, poke is raw sashimi-style fish that’s been marinated in soy sauce and tossed with onion or spicy mayonnaise.  But at the Italian restaurant in Lahaina, which has closed during the intervening years, they served Hamachi (yellow tail tuna) combined with mango and sweet Maui onion.  The flavors were lovely, so I was inspired to try to create my own version of the Italian poke.  Since then, I’ve served this dish at many dinner parties – most recently after I and some of my colleagues at the Weinman Symposium caught some fresh tuna a few weeks ago.


  • 2 lbs. sashimi style tuna
  • 1 medium sweet white onion, preferably Maui or Vidalia
  • 3 – 4 fresh mangos, preferably picked from your neighbor’s tree, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Zest of 4 limes
  • A handful of fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 handful of fresh chopped mint
  • 1 – 2 TB. of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste, preferably black sea salt finishing salt because it adds a lovely color and texture to the final product


  1. Put the tuna filet in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes in order to make it easy to cut.
  2. Using a sharp knife, slice the tuna into thin, bite-sized slices and put into a large bowl.
  3. Add the cubed mango, the lime zest, olive oil, mint and cilantro, and gently toss together. Finish with salt and serve immediately.

I often serve with fresh bread or even with tortilla chips.

Italiano: Tonno Crudo (Poke)


  • Hamachi –Ricciola- o altro tipo di tonno, filetto, 1 kg
  • 1 cipolla dolce, medio grande di Tropea o di Maui o altra, tagliata a striscioline lunghe di circa ½ cm di spessore
  • 3 – 4 manghi maturi a fettine di 1 cm di spessore o quadratini di 2 cm
  • Buccia grattata di 4 lime, solo buccia niente bianco
  • Menta, due pugni di foglie fresche tritate
  • Coriandolo fresco, un mazzo tritato
  • 1 cucchiaio di olio di oliva, italiano della migliore qualità
  • Sale, meglio sale nero perché è più pittoresco.


Mischiare e servire immediatamente.