Salmon Cucumber Poke Bowl
Almond Ginger Scallion Ponzu
“Chopped raw fish, or poke, was part of my everyday life when I was growing up in La’ie, the rural town on O’ahu’s north shore. The sea was our playground,” penned Chef Sam Choy in his book Poke, Mutual Publishing, 2009. In the old days, fresh-caught reef fish would be cut up and seasoned with salt produced by evaporation of the ocean water. Then inamona (ground roasted candlenut) and limu (seaweed) were mixed in. That’s it.
As a nod to Hawaiian poke of the past…here, buttery marcona almonds stand in for local candlenuts, and dashi seaweed broth brings the essence of the sea. Ginger, scallions, soy sauce, and yuzu juice lend background complexity and Japanese touches, while cucumber adds a cool fresh crunch. But this recipe keeps true to its old-style Hawaiian roots – simple, delicious, and uncomplicated – high quality fish with no spicy mayonnaise or syrupy sauces squirted on top.
Chef Sam Choy is a four-time nominee for the James Beard Best Pacific Regional chef award, winning in 2004. He is often credited as the “Godfather of Poke” and the Culinary Ambassador of the Big Island. Read my interview with him about poke and sustainability here.