On the US mainland “poke” is a dish commonly associated with Japanese Sushi Restaurants. Except the origin is not Japanese, it is Hawaiian, or rather that unique Asian/Polynesian cultural amalgam that is our 50th state.
Poke (pronounced Poke-ee) is a simple dish, with many variations. Each family in Hawaii insists that thay have the “best,” so feel free to riff on this one in any way that suits you. Common to almost all poke reciepes is soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and ginger. Garlic and a touch of hot sauce are also almost de rigor. Ideally suited to dinner prep on a boat in the tropics, since the fish is served raw, the cabin stays cool.
The fresher the fish, the better the poke! On those days when we are lucky enough to land a member of the tuna family, you can be sure that poke will be on the menu that evening.
In a typical Hawaiian fish market your see a long list of pokes all made with different kinds of fish. Most commonly made with Ahi (Yellowfin) tuna, it is equally good with Spanish or Cero Mackeral, blackfin tuna, and in our opinion reaches its highest peak with Ono (Wahoo).
Here is our base recipe for poke that we adjust to suit our taste for the day, or the supplies we happen to have on board that evening.
- 1 small onion, julienne cut
- 3 green onions, diced
- 1/2 tsp shredded ginger
- 1/2 c soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tst red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 lb fish cut into 1/2″ cubes
Combine all ingredients, except fish, in a bowl and refigerate for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, toss fish in with sauce. Serve alone, or over rice.