I first heard of Poke (pronounced poh-kay) from Ben, who spent a few weeks living in Hawaii while doing a clinical rotation. I finally got to try it for myself during our trip to Fiji last summer and I fell in love!! The dish is made up of raw chunks of tuna tossed in a flavorful shoyu-sesame sauce and apparently it’s a street food staple for the Hawaiians (and available at unheard of prices compared to here!). Since sashimi is pretty much our favorite food ever, we decided to treat ourselves to a sashimi and poke dinner for Valentine’s day this weekend. And since I just found out I’ll be going to a conference in Hawaii this spring, there really was no better and more appropriate way to celebrate. I am by no means a Poke expert, but this is probably one of the best meals that has come out of my kitchen. The chunks of tuna were velvety smooth and melted in your mouth while the sauce gave it an unforgettable finish. The recipe is very simple and requires minimal work, but does call for an hours worth of chilling time in the fridge. I have to say that most of the credit here is due to the high quality of the tuna, so make sure you use sashimi-grade when you make this (I got mine from Whole Foods and was extremely happy with the quality). Now I just can’t wait for Hawaii so I can afford to eat this every single day!!
adapted from Hawaii Magazine
- 1 pound fresh ahi tuna steaks
- 1/4 cup shoyu or soy sauce [I used a mixture of regular Soy & Nama Shoyu; I was planning on using Aloha Shoyu but in the end decided to stick with what we know]
- 3 green onions, chopped up green parts only
- 1 Tb sesame oil
- 1 tsp gratedfresh ginger
- 1 red chili pepper, seeded and diced finely
- 1 tsp minced garlic (optional, we skipped it)
- 1 Tb toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tsp finely chopped macadamia nuts
- sea salt
1) Prepare your ingredients and combine shoyu, green onions, sesame oil, ginger, chili pepper, garlic if using, and sesame seeds in a large mixing bowl.
2) Slice up your tuna into cubes. We found this video helpful.
3) Add your tuna to the mixing bowl and toss gently.
4) Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
5) When ready to serve, top with macadamia nuts and sea salt if needed.
This recipe makes a bit extra sauce, which we drained off before serving. Also, since you only need a few macadamia nuts for this, I recommend just buying a few from the bulk section at Whole Foods–they’re usually way too expensive to buy a whole container.
And for dessert, we kept it simple and romantic. Chocolate covered strawberries sprinkled with macadamia nuts (an amazing addition!) and some dried mangoes.