Staying with the cool, refreshing summer theme, we bring you Ahi Hawaiian Pesto Poke. No, it’s not bait. 😛
Although the weather in DFW is unbelievably pleasant, overcast, light rain and 74 F, we made this when it was 103 F. Hot, hot, hot!!!!! We like the break from the heat and welcome the rain inasmuch as Texas has been in a drought for the past 4 – 5 years. South Texas around Austin and West Texas have been much worse so we are at least thankful for that. Nevertheless, I previously told you how Baby Lady is a poke fiend. She really is. There are 2 things she likes more than anything else (but me 🙂 ). The first is Chicos Tacos in El Paso. You have to experience them to believe them and enjoy them. They are somewhat of a cult following. As Gabriel Iglesias (“Fluffy”) explains:
Chicos Tacos is an El Paso tradition. “It is the craziest food I have ever tried. Craziest ever. The reason is they give you these little taquitos and there is like a sauce and you pour it and like the taquitos float and it absorbs and uh I never thought I’d see the day I could drink a taco!”
He’s pretty close to spot on and those people from El Paso truly relate to this story. Baby Lady loves Chicos Tacos so much it’s the first stop we make after we get our baggage and car because there is one close to the airport. And she’s not alone!!!! You would be surprised how many rental cars you see in the parking lot with luggage in them.
The only thing Baby Lady likes as much as Chicos Tacos is poke. I can’t even begin to tell you how much she loves poke. The last time we were in Honolulu, we stayed in Ko’Olina which was a wonderful, somewhat secluded resort until they built the 850 room Disney resort. 😮 Nonetheless, we landed at the airport, rented our car and drove to Tomashiro Fish Market where they have unbelievably fresh fish and make a darn good poke. Like Chicos Tacos, but for other reasons, Tomashiro’s has the stuff upon which legends are built. It’s not a restaurant though with places to sit. It’s a wonderful fish market that makes poke. If you buy the poke, they give it to you in plastic pints with plastic forks or chopsticks (if you ask), you pay for it and leave. Baby Lady loves their poke. She loves it so much that we can’t even make it back to the hotel or her sister’s condo (less than 3 miles) without her eating the poke.
Needless to say, there wasn’t any when we got to her sister’s condo. 😦 It’s why I always buy a minimum of 2 pints. 😀
Over time, I have learned how to make poke. It’s not quite the same because the fish is never as fresh and the seaweed is near impossible to find. Nevertheless, we try to make do until we can get back to Hawaii when she can have the real deal. We really are jealous of her sister, Martha. She knows it, too. So, for Christmas one year she sent us Sam Choy’s book, Poke. It’s a wonderful book with loads of poke recipes and this recipe has its origin in this book. We had to make a few modifications because we just don’t have all of the ingredients available to him. Also, I had never thought of making a pesto poke before I read his book. It was unbelievably delicious and if you like poke, give this a try. This is what we did.
- 1.25 lb sashimi grade Big Eye Tuna, cut into 3/4 inch dice
- 1 Tbsp coarse sea salt (We had some nice coarse hawaiian sea salt with chile and Hawaiian seasonings from Martha. Thanks, Martha. 🙂 )
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup ginger
- 2 Serrano chiles, stemmed and chopped
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup oil
Put the diced tuna into a large bowl and sprinkle with salt.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Now add the chiles to the food processor
followed by the ginger
the green onions
and macadamia nuts.
With the food processor running, add the oil
When done, remove the tuna from the fridge and add 1/2 of the pesto, or to taste.
Mix to incorporate.
Spoon the poke into a serving vessel. We like Martini glasses if you haven’t noticed. Conch shells will work, too, as will a variety of other vessels, including but not limited to a lettuce wrap. 🙂
Serve & enjoy!!! I promise you Baby Lady enjoyed this dish tremendously. 😉