Portland food trends come and go, but I hope the luscious poke I see on menus everywhere is here to stay! If you haven’t tried poke (say poh-kay), I really encourage you to give it a go. It has a silky texture, and the addition of sesame and soy means it’s packed with umami flavor! It’s very easy, quick to make, and healthy to boot. Ahi is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and magnesium. PS- I bought a rice cooker! I used to scoff at them and say, “why would you need an appliance just for that?” Well, now I know that rice cooked in a rice cooker IS SO MUCH BETTER!!! Sorry for yelling. Serves 2 as an entree, or 4 as an appetizer. The fish is raw, so use your best judgement about food safety. You should not have any problems if you buy it fresh from a reputable fishmonger such as Portland Fish Market.
- 1/2 lb. highest quality, fresh ahi tuna (you can use albacore, but it soaks up the sauce more, so go easy or it will be too salty)
- 1/4 C. soy sauce (gluten free if necessary)
- 1/4 C. sesame oil
- 1/4 C. mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 t. sesame seeds
- 1/4 t. hot chili sauce, such as Sriracha (or more if you love spice)
- 2-3 small sheets of toasted seaweed to crumble over the top (optional)
Freeze the ahi just for about ten minutes, it makes it a little easier to make clean cuts and not smash it. While it’s in the freezer, in a large bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients. Reserve a few seeds and scallions to scatter on top for garnish. Cut the ahi into small cubes, about 1/2 inch square. Try to handle it as little as possible. Gently toss the fish with the dressing. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Garnish with a few scallions, sesame seeds, and flakes of dried seaweed. Serve right away, or refrigerate. Poke can be made about an hour ahead of time, but more than that and it will become a bit mushy. You can prep the fish and sauce separately up to a day ahead and toss it just before serving. Serve the cold poke over warm, steamed white rice.