Monday, February 6, 2012

Ahi Poke

This dish is Ross' kryptonite.  It has been a sore spot since leaving Hawaii that we cannot find anything remotely similar to this marinated raw tuna in the Twin Cities metro.  Sea Change makes a noble attempt, serving skewers of excellent fresh and fatty tuna with a drizzle of shoyu and sesame.  But it's not the same.  Poke was an everyman's food in Hawaii, not some delicacy served at raw bars, sushi houses and upscale seafood restaurants.  Enter and supermarket and you'd be greeted with at least half a dozen varieties of the tender tidbit of raw fish at the deli counter.

This is my feeble attempt at grasping for that tropical ideal...

adapted from a recipe at

The Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh ahi tuna
1 small round onion, julienned cut (Maui Onions preferred)
3 green onions, diced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp Chinese chili sauce (Rooster Brand)
1 tsp hawaiian sea salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt 

The Process: 
Cut Ahi into half inch cubes.  Place in large bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In another bowl, combine julienned onion, green onion, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper flakes, chili sauce and salt.  Stir well to combine and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to serve toss Ahi with the sauce.   Let set for about ten minutes to marinate.

Serve on chilled platter with chopsticks or toothpicks.

 The Review:
Unless you have a lot of sushi fans, this may not be the biggest hit.  This was the one dish we had a lot of at the end of the night...not that Ross minded much.

Of all of the poke I remember, this version seemed particular salty.  Perhaps too much soy sauce.  The healthy red steaks quickly turned a dull brown once marinaded with the sauce too.  Such a pity too...these were gorgeous tuna steaks to begin with. 

The ginger and garlic lent a nice flavor but everything in combination seemed to overpower the tuna itself.  In the case of poke, it would seem less is more.  And the fresher thee fish the better...which is a feat in and of itself in a land locked state...

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, now I want to go to Hawaii! There's a restaurant in AZ that does this really well, but I've never tried to make it myself. You've inspired me!