Poke, pronounced poh-keh is a Hawaiian word meaning to “slice or cut crosswise into pieces”… But to anyone who is from Hawaii, poke is a popular dish made with chunks of raw ahi tuna tossed in a soy sauce based marinade. My husband is from Hawaii, so whenever we visit his family, he gets his fill of poke along with a few other Hawaiian food staples.
Even though I’m half Japanese, I grew up in a household that doesn’t eat fish. Whaaat?! I have my siblings to blame for that. If my mom cooked fish, they would turn their nose up at it. Because of this, I always thought I didn’t like fish. To top it off, my Japanese mother doesn’t like raw fish, so I NEVER had sushi or sashimi growing up. I thought it was gross. Why would you eat RAW MEAT?!
Anyways, after meeting my to-be husband in college, I was introduced into the world of sushi, and found out that it was actually… really good! However, after years of thinking I couldn’t eat raw fish, it’s still hard to kick that initial feeling of revulsion when I go to eat sashimi. I usually do better with maki (rolled) sushi where there’s rice and other things to balance it out.
What I’m TRYING to say is… I like this stuff in moderation. I can eat a little bit of it, and then I’m good. I mean, it’s straight up raw chunks of fish, so I just cannot handle eating too much at a time. When I made this and we had it during lunch, I ate, maybe… 5 or 6 smallish pieces. The flavoring was really yummy! but that was enough for me. My husband, on the other hand, ate like, half of it in one sitting. I’m saying he ate a half pound of raw tuna, people. In one sitting. He loves the stuff. He finished the rest of it off within a day.
Is it weird that I’m posting a recipe that I don’t love? I like it, but it’s not usually on my to-make list. I’m posting this because I know there are lots of people who DO love it. Including my husband. He’s so happy when he eats things that remind him of home, so I am more than willing to make something even if I just sorta pick at. According to him, this recipe was “spot-on”, and I trust him… he grew up eating the stuff.
I decided to make this because I saw ahi on sale for a really great price at Sprouts. I usually don’t shop at Sprouts, but I made a trip out there just to get it!
If YOU love eating hunks of raw fish, then you should definitely make this! Look at it, isn’t it beautiful?
Hawaiian Ahi Poke
- 1 lb raw ahi tuna, cut into 1/2" chunks
- 1/4 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 1-2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1-2 t white sesame seeds
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 T toasted sesame oil
- 1 t honey to taste
- 1 t grated ginger optional, to taste
- crushed red pepper optional
Combine ingredients in a large bowl and lightly mix. Add salt to taste if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.