Cilantro Pineapple Tuna Poke with Water Street Sushi Room - The Bend Magazine

Cilantro Pineapple Tuna Poke with Water Street Sushi Room

West Coast sophistication with bold South Texas flavors

Words: Justin and Kayla Butts  Photos: Rachel Benavides

The Water Street Sushi Room feels like home. It is meant to feel that way. 

We asked the local spot to whip us up a favorite! Cilantro Pineapple Tuna Poke is a masterstroke of simplicity and flavor. This dish combines the sophistication of West Coast haute cuisine with powerful South Texas flavors.

Poke (pronounced POH-kay) is the newest craze in upscale restaurants. Poke is a Hawaiian dish of raw diced fish with rice served in a bowl. In this recipe, caramelized pineapples compliment yellowfin tuna perfectly. This poke is succulent, sweet, tangy, umami, and a little spicy.  

Prepare this dish at home for an authentic poke experience. Or, visit Water Street Sushi Bar for something interesting and different. 

Jalapeno Ponzu

Makes about 1 cup
Prep Time: 24 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes


1 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup Ponzu vinegar
¼ cup sugar
3 tsp mirin
¼ cup bonito flakes
2 inches konbu
1 lb jalapenos, stems and seed removed


Roast jalapenos over a wood fire or in the oven @ 500°f until skin is black and blistered.

In a blender, add soy sauce, ponzu, sugar, mirin, and roasted jalapenos and blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a storage container and add konbu and bonito, store in refrigerator. After 24 hours strain mixture through a fine strainer and store for up to 7 days.  

Jalapeno Poke Sauce

Makes about 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes


¾ cup soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 cups jalapeno ponzu (see recipe)


In blender, combine all ingredients and blend until sesame oil is emulsified. Store under refrigeration for up to 7 days.

Cilantro Pineapple Tuna Poke

Makes about 2 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes


6 oz Yellowfin Tuna, cubed
1 tbsp Cilantro, washed and chopped
1 cup pineapple, small diced
¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp green onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup cucumber, seeds and peel removed, cut to medium dice
Pinch of white pickled ginger, thin sliced
1 tbsp fresh jalapenos, seeds removed, medium diced
1 oz jalapeno poke sauce
A generous shake of sesame seeds
6 oz steamed white rice


Steam rice according to instructions on package.  I recommend using a short grain rice.

In a hot pan, add oil and diced pineapple.  Sautee for 5 min on high heat until natural sugar from pineapple begins to caramelize and edges of pineapple begin to brown.  Remove from heat and let cool.

When the pineapple is cool, combine all ingredients except rice in a medium sized mixing bowl and toss until evenly coated.

On a plate add 3 oz steamed rice.  Gently scoop the poke onto the rice. Finish with an additional shake of sesame seeds and enjoy!