But Is It Poke? Recipe

But Is It Poke?

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Ingredients

  • Sashimi-grade tuna (lean)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Spring onion
  • Dried chili flakes
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Your seaweed of choice (optional) (The traditional kind is ogo or limu but I've used hijiki here because I prefer it)
  • Ground candlenuts (optional) (Substitute ground macadamia nuts or cashews)

How to make But Is It Poke?


Long Title: Original Poke of Tuna, Sesame and Hijiki

I've always been fascinated with Hawai'ian food. While not exactly haute cuisine, it brings together a mulititude of cultures to create a complete fusion cuisine without any predominant style. You could call it the the "original seed" of fusion cooking. If Jay Adams were a cuisine, he'd be Hawai'ian.

The Hawai'ian Islands are among the most remote places on Earth. Its original inhabitants, the Polynesians, brought their local cuisine to the islands from the Marquesas and Tahiti in around 400 A.D.. The Europeans came following Captain James Cook's discovery in the late 18th century and brought their own culinary influences. In the 19th and 20th centuries contracted workers came from China, Japan, Okinawa, Korea, Portugal, Puerto Rico and The Philippines. Each of these regions put their culinary stamp on the islands' cuisine.

Poke (pronounced to rhyme with 'OK') is the local Hawai'ian result of the many influences from Japanese sashimi, Filipino kinilaw and Portuguese ceviche, but made in the relaxed island style of Hawai'i.

This recipe isn't exactly how it's made in Hawai'i, but with a fusion history like Hawai'i has, I think I can be cut a little slack.

I made this for an ex-girlfriend of mine once who was born and raised in Hawai'i. Her response was, "It's great, but is it Poke?". You decide.

  1. Dice the tuna into cubes of approximately 2cm x 2cm. No need to be too exact; this is a very casual dish. Let's say you've got about 200gms of fish for the purposes of this recipe.

  2. Toast about half a tablespoon of sesame seeds in a dry pan. Keep them moving constantly so that they don't burn. Tip the toasted seeds into a large bowl with the tuna.

  3. Chop 2-3 spring onions, including the green part, and throw it in the bowl. Follow that with dried chili flakes to taste, some seaweed (if using) (I used about a heaped teaspoon of hijiki), about a teaspoon of the ground nuts (if using) and the tiniest dash each of sesame oil and soy sauce. Add a sprinkle of salt too (Hawai'ian if you've got it).

  4. Mix it all together gently with your hand. Let it sit for a few minutes for the flavours to come together and you're ready to go.

  • dubow
    dubow says

    I loooove raw tuna and this reminds me of this delicious tuna starter i had at the OXO tower.....yummy!

  • annie
    annie says

    feel guilty about eating tuna sashimi(fished to extinction!) - can it be made with something else instead?

  • theory
    theory says

    Please don't make me feel guilty for eating tuna. I love it so much! But any sashimi-grade fish could be used, but most common in Hawai'i is to used cooked octopus.

  • savicandi
    savicandi says

    What is shashimi?

  • theory
    theory says

    Sashimi is the name for the Japanese style of preparing raw fish. You might know it as sushi but in Japan 'sushi' is a rice-based snack with a topping (often raw fish) or condiment. Sashimi refers to raw fish without rice. Essentially, this recipe just calls for a high grade fish that you can eat raw.

  • Mariska
    Mariska says

    when i hear the title i knew poke( pronounce like ok) is some kinda of hawain tuna dish, very interesting title, and story, can't wait to try this one, and i will tell you if it is a poke.

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