Poke, pronounced “POH-kay, is a traditional Hawaiian dish made with the freshest of ingredients. Such a delightful meal, unless, of course, you don’t like raw fish. If so, you might want to skip this post. 😉 If not, read on.
Beginning in the mid to late1980s and developing over time sushi and sashimi have gained in popularity. Sushi bars are opening everywhere. Baby Lady & I love sushi and sashimi. We will even make it at home and someday will post a couple of our sushi recipes. Sushi an sashimi, however, are not the only way to eat raw fish. In the Hawaiian Islands they make a dish called poke that is absolutely out of this world. It is much like sushi except instead of being sliced, placed on rice with a little touch of wasabi and maybe some soyu and eaten in one bite, poke is more salad like but it’s definitely not a salad. As I pointed out in the post on Minute Poke, poke is designed as an appetizer which led some to refer to it as a sort of fish salad, which it is not. It is typically served in modest amounts which are designed to whet the appetite and raise interest in the rest of the meal. Most people, however, are unfamiliar with poke and have never tried it. Even those people who have eaten and like sushi and sashimi aren’t familiar with poke. This fact dawned on me as I was reading one of the blogs I follow Enjoy with Joy. If you have never read Joy’s blog, you need to as it is full of wonderful recipes. You see, Joy had just made tuna poke for the first time. At the end of her post, Joy commented:
“I can’t believe why I haven’t tried Poke before. I guess I’m used to ceviche-style using citrus and vinegar. With the poke dish you can taste the tuna and even enhances the flavor, and the seaweed and kombu just brings it together.”
As Baby Lady and I were reading Joy’s post we chuckled as we had just made the Asian Style Shrimp Ceviche and this poke dish (from Sam Choy’s Poke) for dinner the prior night. Joy’s ending comments to her post were so on point. Poke is a wonderful dish. So, Joy, if you want another poke recipe, give this one a try. 🙂
Now, I realize raw fish doesn’t appeal to many people and we don’t eat all types of fish raw. Certain fruits of the sea, however, are wonderful raw. For instance, tuna, scallops, shrimp, lobster, marlin, swordfish, sea urchin, oysters, and mackerel are wonderful raw. The fish, however, must be the freshest and highest quality possible and smell of the ocean. If not, eat something else. For those of you that are curious and those of you who love raw seafood, give this recipe a try. It’s a little different from more traditional poke with the addition of roasted garlic but it is so wonderful. This is a fabulous appetizer or light lunch. Here is what we did.
- 1 head garlic, roasted (method to roast garlic found here) and cloves separated
- 1 lb Ahi tuna, cubed 1/2 inch cube
- 1/2 medium onion, cubed 1/2 inch cube
- 1 Serrano chile, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp Hawaiian salt
- ground white pepper, to taste
Poke, like ceviche, is a simple dish, basically a no-brainer.” After you have all your ingredients prepped, put the ahi in a large mixing bowl and add the salt, ground white pepper and soy sauce
Then, add sesame seed oil
the Serrano chile
Add the roasted garlic and very gently toss so as not to beak up the garlic
Get a serving platter, line with banana leaves and pour poke onto platter
Serve & enjoy!
NOTES: Sam Choy also calls for 1/2 cup fresh ogo seaweed, rinsed and chopped. Living inland in DFW, we don’t get fresh seaweed and rehydrated just isn’t the same, so we omitted it. If, however, you are in a place where you can get fresh ogo, it really makes this dish top notch.