Sushi is arguably the most popular raw fish dish (and my absolute favorite), but there are many other raw fish dishes from around the world. Over the next few posts, I would like to share my interpretation of some other raw fish dishes I’ve enjoyed. First up is poke, a staple of “pupu” platters across Hawaii, traditionally made with cubed raw fish marinated in Hawaiian sea salt, soy sauce, roasted crushed candlenut, sesame oil, ogo or other types of seaweed, and chopped chili pepper.
The word poke (pronounced poh-keh) is a Hawaiian word, meaning “to slice or cut crosswise into pieces.” Tuna is the fish most often used, but nowadays, many variations exist including those made with octopus, salmon, crab, cooked shrimp, clams, and even, tofu! Over the years, ingredients such as diced Maui onions, hot sauce (Sriracha or sambal oelek), fish roe such as ikura (salmon) or tobiko (flying fish), and furikake have also become popular additions. Some recipes call for garlic, but I find it too strong in the dish.
In Southern California, Japanese grocery stores like Mitsuwa and Marukai, carry all the ingredients for this poke recipe, including sushi-grade fish, at a fraction of the price of sushi found in Japanese restaurants.
Hawaiian-style Salmon Poke
Yields 1 to 2 servings
1 tablespoon finely diced yellow onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, preferably Hawaiian
1/4 to 1/2 tablespoon crushed red chili flakes, to taste
1 tablespoon furikake flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil, or more, to taste
1 ounce ogo or goma wakame seaweed salad, optional
1 pound fresh sushi-grade salmon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 ounces ikura (salmon roe)
lightly toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
green onion, for garnish
ikura, for garnish
Combine the first 8 (from yellow onions to sesame oil) ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. Add cubed salmon and ikura (salmon roe) and mix gently to combine with the sauce. Garnish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, green onion, and ikura.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with goma wakame (seaweed salad) and steamed rice.
Warning: Consumption of raw or undercooked fish and shellfish may substantially increase the risk of foodborne illness.
Adapted from Food Network.
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