Let’s Cook! Tuna Poke
July 22, 2011
Not too long ago I admitted my affection for chopped-up-raw-fresh-tuna-mixed-with-tasty-seasonings and promised you some recipes, well here is one to start…
Tuna Poke (pronounced “POH-kay”, according to the Interwebs) is apparently quite a popular dish in the Hawaiian islands – poke meaning “cut piece” or “small piece” in Hawaiian.
Even in a recent episode of “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”, the spiky-haired Guy Fieri featured a Hawaiian eatery specializing in many varieties of poke.
In researching Tuna Poke recipes, I found several common seasonings: soy, sesame and green onions seemed to be the basis of pretty much all versions. Some added items such as ginger, sweet onions, a little bit of hot pepper and chopped macadamia nuts for a bit of texture.
So here’s a basic recipe that turned out quite nice…
1 Lb Fresh Sushi-Grade Tuna (usually what you’ll find is Yellowfin or also called Ahi Tuna – look for a piece with little of the white connective tissue – tell your favorite fish-person you’re serving it raw and they’ll find the right piece for you)
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Tbl Sesame Oil
1/3-1/2 Cup Chopped Green Onions (aka Scallions, depending on where you live)
1/2 Tbl Toasted Sesame Seeds (I also had some Black Sesame Seeds hanging around, so I used a few of those as well)
1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper (or Pepper Flakes or Sriracha)
Dumpling Wrappers, Gyoza Skins, Wonton Wrappers, etc. for serving if desired
Dice the tuna into cubes about 1/4″ square.
Throw into a glass or plastic container, add the rest of the ingredients (other than the salt and the wrappers for serving)…
mix well, cover and stick in the ‘fridge for a couple of hours or even overnight.
So now, your poke is pretty much done – hard, huh?
To serve, you can simply put into a small bowl (or be very cool and stick into a martini glass) and serve with chopsticks or a spoon.
I like a crispy base, and this time I used Dumpling Skins. You can find these (or one of the other items noted) in the freezer section of your Asian market and even quite often in the produce section of your neighborhood grocery.
Make your serving chips while the fish marinates. If they are frozen, defrost first (duh…).
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take your wrapper of choice (the square wonton wrappers are nice cut into triangles), put on the prepared sheet and spray with olive oil (or brush very lightly with oil).
If you’d like to add a little bit of seasonings you can sprinkle lightly with cayenne or five-spice powder and/or sesame seeds… try a bit on a few chips and see what you like.
Put in the oven a bake for about 6 – 8 minutes until crispy and lightly colored. Time will depend on the thickness of your wrapper – start checking at about 5 minutes and go from there. When done remove from the baking sheet and allow to cool – make more crisps as needed.
These can be made a day or two ahead if desired and kept in a covered container (or a zip-lock bag) at room temperature.
When ready to serve, stir the poke well, add a little bit of coarse salt (the crunch of a piece here and there really adds something… if you have something as esoteric as my favorite Ghost Pepper Salt, and you can take the heat, go for it… otherwise some nice coarse pieces of a good sea salt will still make you quite happy).
Load some of the poke onto your crispy serving base and eat away!
Easy, delicious, and actually pretty darn healthy… give it a try, more recipes to follow… share yours if you’d like!
Back to the kitchen….