A traditional dish originating in Hawaii, poke is a simple raw seafood salad that can be made with a variety of ingredients including tuna, oyster, crab, white fish, octopus and much more. While the contents vary depending on your liking and what’s fresh at the time, the common goal is always a simple and refreshing snack. Living in South Florida we have great access to fresh seafood, but the height of our poke season coincides with the summertime run of yellowfin tuna in the nearby Bahamas. With day-fresh tuna equating to melt-in-your-mouth goodness, we experience yellowfin tuna sushi binges that continue until our catch of fresh fish is no longer fresh enough to eat raw!
Having eaten tuna consecutively for many meals, we always try to experiment with different preparations so we never get bored. While ceviche uses citric acid to cook, poke is consumed raw. The great thing about poke is that you’re free to add whatever tastes good to you. I sometimes spice it up with wasabi paste, honey, avocado, garlic, ginger, fish roe, macadamia nuts and more, but it is just as good prepared with a few simple ingredients that enhance and highlight the freshness of the fish.
1 pound sushi grade tuna
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
green onion, finely chopped
To prepare, simply pat tuna steaks dry before cutting into ½-inch cubes. Remember to always cut with the grain, not against it and also to remove any dark meat from the bloodline or meat with stringy texture. Sprinkle tuna cubes with sea salt and set aside. Start preparing dressing by mixing sesame oil, soy sauce, finely chopped green onions, sliced shallots and chili garlic sauce. Place tuna and dressing into a mixing bowl and gently toss to coat the cubes. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, plate with crackers, wonton chips or lettuce wraps and serve immediately.