WHAT THE HECK IS POKE? (Pronounced "poke-ee" or "poke-hay" ; emphasis on the "Po")
No Hawaian luau or party would be complete without a large bowl of poke.
In Hawaiian, poke means to "slice", "cut up", or "section". It is basically a salad of chilled raw fish plus anything else you've got on hand. Poke should not be confused with ceviche, which features small fish pieces that have been "cooked" in citrus.
Traditional poke is served with limu (seeweed) and chopped kukui nut, but modern preparations frequently subsitute their own cultural favorites. Simply put, today's poke recipes relect the ethnic diversity of Maui – Samoans, Tongan, Portuguese, Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Americans – everyone has their favorite poke enhancements.
The recipe below is one of the more traditional poke recipes out there. But feel free to enhance as your tastebuds demand.
- 1 lb. Aku filet, cut in 3/4 in. squares (or ahi filet)
- 1 tsp. Hawaiian red salt (or course Mediterranean sea salt)
- 1 tsp. Kikkoman shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1 Tbsp. cold water
- 1/2 cup chopped limu kohu or ogo (or green onion including the bulbs)
- 1 tsp. pure sesame oil
- 1/8 tsp. seeded/chopped Hawaiian red chili pepper (or Thai red pepper)
- 2 teaspoons ground, roasted kukui nuts (or toasted sesame seeds)
Put all the ingredients in a glass bowl and toss gently to blend.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.