Ahi Tuna Poke
This week we have sourced a shipment of sushi grade ahi tuna. This tuna is very fresh and always goes particularly fast whenever we offer it, so we encourage you to come in soon if you intend to get some. Ahi lends itself best to raw or barely cooked presentations. This week I have featured a dish that has been increasingly popular the past few years, poke.
Poke is a traditional Hawaiian dish that has undergone a great deal of innovation and changes in its preparation as it has spread across the country. Traditional poke is a Hawaiian invention combining local ingredients with Asian, and most notably Japanese, influences. It can be made from a number of fish, octopus or shrimp which are mixed with soy sauce, sesame oil, local nuts and seaweed. About five years ago as the dish began to appear on the mainland the fish of choice overwhelmingly moved to ahi tuna. However, a greater variation of accompaniments also arose. The dish is commonly served either on its own or over white rice.
Seaweed for this dish is readily available at several Asian markets in town. I recommend Yi’s Oriental Market on Colorado Street. However, you can also prepare the dish without it. This recipe can be easily adapted to your taste and ingredients you have on hand. Typical additions include sesame seed, jalapeno, edamame and avocado.
Ahi Tuna Poke
Serves: Appetizer for two, or with rice a meal for one.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
- 8 oz Ahi Tuna Steak
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ of a small, sweet onion, small dice
- 2 tablespoons green onions, green and white portions, sliced very thin.
- 1 tablespoon macadamia nuts or almonds, roasted and chopped
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- Large pinch of crushed red pepper, more or less to your taste
- 1 sheet of nori or other dried seaweed, cut into thin strips
- Sea salt, to taste
Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, green onion, nuts and ginger in a small mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside. Cut the tuna into small cubes about ¾ of inch thick, as consistently as possible. In a bowl toss the tuna, onions, seaweed and marinade. The poke can be served immediately, however I recommend covering the bowl with saran wrap and refrigerating for 30 minutes to an hour, to allow the tuna to cure lightly, before eating. Season the poke with sea salt and a small amount of lemon juice immediately before serving. Garnish with any additional components you desire and enjoy.