We love Poke! It’s fab rolled in a lettuce leaf!
Poke (pronounced POH-kay) is served in Hawaiian homes and restaurants as a side dish. No gathering in Hawaii would be complete without a few bowls of poke. In Hawaiian, it means “cut piece” or “small piece.” Poke is bite-size pieces of raw fish doused in seasonings.
For centuries, Hawaiian fishermen cut their catch of raw fish into cubes and seasoned it with whatever they had on hand. Modern recipes for Poke use seasonings from different cultures in the Islands: soy sauce, onions, tomatoes, and chilies. It is so common in Hawaiian culture, that you can buy it at the local grocery store and choose from several freshly made varieties. It is considered a local food or “local grind” – comfort food to the Hawaiians. It wasn’t until the 1970s that recipes for poke were published in cookbooks.
So do your own thing with your raw fish but if you need a base here is a great recipe:
2 pounds fresh or sashimi-grade Ahi tuna steaks, cut into bite-size pieces*
1/2 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup chopped green onions (tops included)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 to 2 chile peppers cored, seeded, and finely minced
Coarse salt to taste
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds**
1 tablespoon finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts***
Boy choy or romaine lettuce leaves
* If you cannot buy freshly caught fish, purchase only fresh sashimi or sushi-grade fish. Look for tuna fillets that are bright in color, not dull or darkened or dry looking. Buy loins or thick fillets (at least one-inch thick).
** To toast sesame seeds: Place sesame seeds in a small dry saucepan over medium heat; stirring occasionally, toast 3 minutes or until golden brown (watch closely as seeds burn easily).
*** To toast whole macadamia nuts: spread whole nuts on a baking or cookie sheet and toast in a preheated 300 degree F. oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned (watch closely as nuts burn easily).