Nothing beats fresh ahi (tuna). NOTHING. Ok, maybe there are a few things but guys, FRESH AHI. So when you manage to get your hands on some, don't think. Just make some poke. Poke? Say po-kay (not poki or poky). If you haven't heard of it, I'm soooo excited to share it with you today. It's basically fresh ahi (I always use sashimi grade and recommend you do the same) cubed tossed up with things like diced sweet Maui onions, green onions, sesame seeds, and shoyu (soy sauce), so, um, it's essentially a seasoned/usually marinated fresh, raw fish salad. While recipes vary, you can almost always count on onions making an appearance in almost every poke recipe out there. And guess what, just like yesterday's recipe (for kalua pig and cabbage), shoyu ahi poke is EASY to make and super delicious. Are you getting hungry, yet?
You'd think that growing up in Hawaii, with an uncle who lives and breathes ulua (giant trevally/giant kingfish, which btw are freakin' huge, like over 100 lbs huge), I'd have had my fair share of poke as a kid. But, I was a fairly picky (and yes, sometimes bratty) kid, and poke most certainly did not make the list of Alana approved foods, even if and most especially if the poke came from an uncle who caught that fish hours before transforming it into poke. So, I basically had a lot of catching up to do when I finally realized that poke's pretty much gold.
Pro tip: Use a sharp knife when cubing the fish. I'm OBSESSED with this Shun Dual Core 8-inch Kiritsuke. It's like a chef's knife but BETTER. I use it for everything from chopping veggies (like onions) to cubing super amazing fresh, raw ahi (bonus points for it being a really, really pretty knife, too)!!
Here's what I've learned over the years. Ahi poke is my favorite and definitely the most common. Hands down. Shoyu ahi poke is the poke I usually end up choosing and everyone seems to have their own take on what makes a good shoyu ahi poke. I require just a touch of sweetness, so that's reflected in my recipe below. Moses on the other hand, usually goes with Hawaiian style poke but then almost always adds a touch of shoyu. Most pokes in Hawaii are marinated for an hour or two before being served/sold. Also, you should always have a fresh pot of white rice on hand when serving poke. Not everyone wants or needs it, but I'm pretty sure if I came over to your house and you served me poke without at least offering me some rice, I'd be mildly insulted. ;D So just consider cooking up a pot of rice before you whip up a batch of my shoyu ahi poke! Happy Tuesday, guys!
- 1 lb. fresh ahi (sashimi grade) steaks, cut into cubed, bite-size pieces
- 3 Tbsp. shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1 Tbsp. kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
- 1/4 c. chopped green onions
- 1/4 c. chopped sweet Maui onion (or sweet yellow onion)
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp. finely grated garlic
- 1 tsp. chili pepper flakes
- Hawaiian salt, to taste
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tsp. finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts
- 1 medium, ripe Haas avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
- Sharp Kiritsuke or chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Fine grater
- Mixing bowl
- In a small bowl, combine shoyu, kecap manis, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic and whisk together.
- In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except avocado, and gently toss together with your hands to evenly distribute ingredients. Pour the shoyu mixture over the ahi and mix to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
- Minutes before serving, add avocado and gently toss with ahi mixture.
- Serve and enjoy!
Note: I recommend serving this with a scoop or two of white rice, and if you're super hungry kalua pig and cabbage, lomi salmon, chicken long rice, shoyu ahi poke, lychee lemonade, and a giant bowl of poi if you can find it!