Sometimes during exciting travel adventures, people fall in love with a mysterious local and share naughty nights and lurid adventures together until it’s time to go home.
I, however, connect with food (and booze) and bring my lurid voyaging affairs to the table in a most open manner.
My latest local foodie crush from my trip to Maui – poke. Raw chunks of super fresh ahi tuna steak mixed with various sauces, seaweed, herbs and the occasional vegetable. It’s like a raw fish salad, but so much better than that just sounded.
Per Esther’s suggestion, we picked our poke up by the half pound at a nearby Foodland grocery store. Their poke case was full of maybe 15 different kinds to choose from – we tried traditional, avocado, Hawaiian, wasabi, garlic and I think a couple of other variations. At about $7 – $8/lb, it was one of the cheapest (and most delicious) meals we had on the island.
I brought home a poke seasoning pack and am excited to try my hand at making my own (after a quick jaunt to a local sushi-supplier fish market), especially as it’s giving me some new ingredients to find in Houston – although completely replaceable: Hawaiian pink sea salt (pretty easy), Hawaiian seaweed = ogo (hmm….) and a nice sweet Maui onion.
It’s simple, but like so many simple dishes can be tweaked and refined in a multitude of tasty ways. Freshness is key here, as are large quantities because you won’t want to stop eating it once you have started. Some recipes to get you salivating:
- Gorgeously depicted poke recipe from the userealbutter blog
- Sam Choy’s award winning poke recipe
- A slightly more complex poke recipe version from delish
- Less than traditional – a seared ahi poke with sriracha dipping sauce