In Hawaii, one of the local favorites is poke (pronounced po-kay). It’s some type of raw fish in a sauce. You can get it at all the local grocery stores, even the commissary sells it. They usually have an avocado and ahi one that looks delicious but alas, Hubs doesn’t like avocados. My parents love poke and my mom gave me a pretty good recipe for it but we’ve adapted it and for this meatless Friday dish, I’m sharing it with you.
It looks like you need a lot of stuff but really, you only need a little bit of everything. The most important part is getting sushi grade Ahi (tuna). Make sure it’s a nice dark red, doesn’t smell weird, and isn’t fatty. You don’t want to use normal tuna because it may not be safe to eat raw. The Ahi will cost you a bit of money but when it comes to eating raw fish, skimping isn’t a good idea. For the sauce, we use sesame oil, chili pepper paste, cooking sherry, tamari (but you lucky gluten consumers can use soy sauce), and sesame seeds. Grab a bunch of green onions and you’re ready to roll! Or not, because you eat poke in a bowl. 😛
We like to eat our poke with rice. A lot of people do. Because of this, make sure to cube your Ahi in big enough chunks to be able to eat with chopsticks. Ours are between 1/2 an inch and 1 inch thick. Once it’s cubed, chop up your green onions and then add your condiments. While measuring isn’t important here, it is important to note that the majority of your sauce should be the tamari (soy sauce). We do 2 parts tamari to 1 part sherry/sesame oil/chili pepper. Top with as much sesame seeds as you’d like. Gently fold it all together. Your Ahi is delicate, do not abuse it.
As I mentioned above, we eat ours with rice. Our vegetable of choice for the evening was baby bok choy which I sauteed in butter and garlic salt. It’s an easy side dish and delicious. We had never had boy choy – baby or otherwise – until moving here and I hope we’ll be able to find it when we move because it is so yummy!
Here’s the recipe in detail:
- 1/2 pound sushi grade Ahi tuna
- 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1/8 cup sesame oil
- 1/8 cup sherry (cooking or the real stuff)
- 1/8 cup chili pepper paste (we found this in the produce section, you can substitute your favorite chili sauce if you can’t find it and add more if you want a little more kick)
- 1/8 cup sesame seeds
- 1 bunch of green onions
- Cube Ahi into 1/2-1 inch cubes. Finely chop green onions and place in a bowl together
- Add your condiments to the bowl and gently fold
- Serve with rice. We also sometimes eat it with toast, cut into slices, like an Ahi “dip” and that’s also a good way to serve it
Have you ever tried poke? What’s your favorite kind?