Friday, November 2, 2012

Maui Inspired Poke (appetizer serves 2-3)

Poke is a popular way to eat fresh fish in Hawaii. The term poke means to slice or cut.  When you go to a grocery store in Hawaii you can find a huge selection of prepared poke.  In the past a mixture of the kukui nut or candle nut and salt called inamona was often added to this dish. Nowadays it is rare to see a poke made with this mixture. This evening I have recreated this dish using the kukui nuts that I had roasted myself when I was on Maui and brought back to New Hampshire. I kept the nuts in a zip lock bag in a freezer.

Maui Inspired Poke (appetizer serves 2-3)


12 oz of cubed or bite size sushi-grade fish*
1/4 C hydrated sea vegetable*
1/4 C chopped sweet onion
2 Tbsp chopped scallions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp grated ginger
1/4 tsp crushed Hawaiian sea salt or any sea salt
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp mirin
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 roasted kukui nut, chopped (please see How to Roast Kukui Nuts post)


Mix all ingredients gently until well blended and chill. Serves cold over rice, crackers or crostini.

jade plant & birdhouse
*You can use any type of sushi-grade fish. Be careful when buying fresh fish to eat raw. Some grocery stores may claim that the fish is "sushi-grade" but they handle it poorly and you can get very ill from eating it. Get to know your fish monger and local fishermen.
*You can use any type of sea vegetable that you have available for the poke. In Hawaii some poke contains a type of sea vegetable called ogo.  
*I often eat my poke with rice. Sometimes I like to add diced avocado to it and it's delicious. Tonight I eat it with crackers. I did not make this recipe too salty so it can actually be eaten as is.
*If you do not have access to kukui nuts you can use other unsalted nuts or seeds such as macadamia nuts, pine nuts, or sesame seeds.

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