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The Best Hawaiian Appetizer
My favorite Hawaiian staple - poke
I'm not sure if they still do, but less than a handful of years ago, our boys thought their dad was famous since he's been on TV. While we were still residing on the Big Island of Hawaii, my husband won Sam Choy's annual Poke Recipe Contest (held at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel). He was asked afterward to come on Sam's televised cooking show to prepare it live. Of course we have a recording of the show (but it's on VHS! It's been 7 years I think since he won that contest!).
For those of you who don't know what 'poke' is (pronounced 'Pokeh'), it's a 'pupu' (Hawaiian word for appetizer - readers will receive a little culture lesson with this hub!). The main ingredient typically is a type of seafood. In this example, I will share about one of the most simple, common and popular poke concoctions - Ahi poke. Raw Ahi (yellow fin tuna) is cubed and mixed with shoyu (soy sauce), onion (green, white/yellow or better yet, 'Maui' or a combination of a little green and one of the others), a couple drops of sesame oil, and a pinch of Hawaiian salt. Some like to add 'inamona' (kukui nut - my personal favorite addition) ogo (seaweed), chili pepper, and Thomas (my hubby) occasionally even likes to add diced tomatoes.
I know, some people when they think raw fish think, "eeewwww!" The liquids marinade the flesh and with the flavors from the additional ingredients, its' really 'ono' (so good!).
Too bad I don't have a picture saved here on my PC of my Thomas' winning creation, which included a glorious presentation. It wasn't as simple as the basic ingredients above. He served it on fried won-tons with some fresh julieanned vegetable and green concoction accompanied by glazes and drizzles. The poke was called, "Close Your Eyes - Surprise!" w/ many bursts of flavors and textures.
I could eat poke almost every day. Even though in Washington now, we are able to make and enjoy it now and then. If you've never tried poke, I encourage you to do so. The ingredients are not something we see here on the mainland everyday; in fact, if you go to any of the Hawaiian islands, you can get poke in the deli section of the grocery store. If you don't have plans to be there anytime soon, yet you eat at Japanese restaurants where sushi and sashimi are served, nine times out of ten, I bet they know what poke is and would be glad to make some for you (if they don't already offer it). Of course it won't be as good as my husbands....call me biased, but it's the truth!
- Aloha-Hawaii.com: Poke
This is an article poke, a local Hawaiian dish that is a favorite delicacy for many Island residents. Poke is consumed at informal parties and lavish food festivals, and was made famous by celebrity chef Sam Choy.