Spicy Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps

Remember in the early Facebook days how you’d get poked all the time? And it was incredibly awkward?

Spicy Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps / Bev Cooks

Like, what was that even supposed to mean? I remember getting poked, and being like, “Ew. Don’t.” They never got poked back, and I was okay with that.

Speaking of OKAY, I do realize that in this case, the word poke is pronounced “poh-kay.” You’re sitting there totally convinced I was a complete idiot.

Poh-kaaaay, bae!

Wait, I was supposed to stop saying bae this year, wasn’t I? Oops.

Spicy Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps / Bev Cooks

So this is the deal. Yes that is raw tuna. But that’s the way you eat it! Sashimi style.

But what you WANT to do is buy “sushi-grade tuna” from your best source. I got mine at Whole Foods, but I bet your fish monger would have some good stuff. I pretty much just like saying the word monger.


Spicy Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps / Bev Cooks

Cut up the tuna into bite-sized chunks, and let it sit for a sec in a simple marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha sauce (sambal oelek is fantastic in its place), a pinch of brown sugar and lime juice. While that sits, dice up a bit of cucumber, along with an avocado and a few scallions. All the good things.

Once your goodies are prepped, you’ll slide half of each into the tuna bowl and give her a little toss. It’s good for the soul.

Oh! Make some white rice. Jasmine is just fine. Aaron had some already made from the day before, so it was a last-second idea, and one that I’m most certainly delighted about.

Spicy Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps / Bev Cooks

Rinse some butter lettuce leaves. Or Boston, or Bibb, or any of those tender head lettuces because they all look the dang same.

Rinse rinse rinse, then pile a little bit of rice and tuna mixture into each cup, which . . . I’m sure is obvious. THEN, sprinkle the lettuce cuppies with the remaining cucumber, avocado, scallions, and some pretty sesame seeds. If you can’t find multi-colored seeds, you’re still a good person.

Have some lime wedges on the side for extra squeezage. You know how I like extra squeezage. This is getting awkward. But not quite as awkward as getting poked. EW. WHY.

Try this! It’s light, it’s tangy, it’s different. Shake it up ’round der.

Spicy Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps / Bev Cooks

Get poked.

Spicy Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps
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  • 1 pound sushi-grade ahi or yellowfin tuna
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce (or sambal oelek)
  • juice from half a lime (plus more wedges for serving)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 head butter lettuce, rinsed and leaves separated
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. Dice the tuna into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar. Transfer the tuna to the marinade and let sit for a few minutes, while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Once the ingredients are prepared, add half of the cucumber, avocado and scallions to the bowl and toss.
  4. Fill each lettuce cup with a tiny bit of rice and a small mound of spicy tuna. Then top with the remaining cucumber, avocado, and scallions. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Serve the lettuce wraps with extra lime wedges! Always.
  6. Serves 2-3.

Spicy Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps / Bev Cooks

. . . bae.

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17 Responses to Spicy Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps

  1. Jennifer Jones May 10, 2016 at 9:10 am #
    You just made my day!
  2. Ellie | Hungry by Nature May 10, 2016 at 9:11 am #
    I loooooove raw tuna but am so scared to make it at home because I don't know anything about the quality or freshness of the fish. I'll have to head to Whole Foods to make sure I get the good stuff!
  3. Caitlin May 10, 2016 at 10:35 am #
    I made poke bowls one day last year to attempt to relive our Hawaii vacation the year before, and went to Whole Foods for the sashimi grade tuna. After 20 minutes in the fish section, the woman finally told me it was in the sushi bar. And that ish was 45 dollars a pound! It may be expensive, but it's so good! I love the idea of doing lettuce wraps instead of throwing it in a regular bowl. I might have to splurge and get some more sashimi grade fish soon and make them this way.
  4. Steph May 10, 2016 at 10:57 am #
    Oh my goodness! I'm making this this weekend and if my husband is lucky I might share.
  5. Susan Spilecki May 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm #
    I wish you lived down the street from me. Then I could come over and eat lunch at your house and we could say "monger monger monger" together. I would bring the drinks.
  6. Christine @ WRY TOAST May 17, 2016 at 8:16 am #
    poke bowls are HUGE in NYC right now -- there's so many chains popping up! -- so I've legit been on a damn poke binge. probably time I just make them at home myself ;) xo
  7. Amy August 3, 2016 at 1:38 pm #
    I do a poke bowl but trying to go light on the rice, so I will make these wraps instead! They look perfect!
  8. Taylor August 16, 2016 at 5:54 pm #
    Recipe looks lovely- can't wait to try it out! I currently work for a seafood market in Montana, and for those of you worried/wondering about eating raw fish: Look for #1 and #2 ahi tuna, both of which are sushi grade. #1 is slightly better than #2, but any market that differentiates the two is a good place to be buying your fish!
  9. Liz June 6, 2020 at 8:59 pm #
    Excellent recipe! This turned out fantastic! I didn’t change anything. My guests devoured this.
  10. Kauilani June 7, 2022 at 9:31 pm #
    Actually, poke is not pronounced poh-kay. It is poh-keh. Short "eh" sound.
  11. Kauilani June 7, 2022 at 9:34 pm #
    Also, sashimi is in reference to how it's thinly sliced.


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