Ahi poke (pronounced “POH-keh”) is a classic Hawaiian food. I love making ahi poke in the summertime, because it's nice and cool. No need to heat up the oven! And it's my husband's absolute favorite.
Because poke is served raw, it's chock full of enzymes, which are very important for nutrition.
And of course, there are so many health benefits to eating seafood on a regular basis. According to the Harvard School of Public Health:
An analysis of 20 studies involving hundreds of thousands of participants indicates that eating approximately one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish a week—salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines—reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.
I've only been to Hawaii twice in my life. Both times, I absolutely loved it. The first time was almost 15 years ago, when I went to the Big Island. Recently I visited Maui with my husband.
Click here to read about the food we ate on our trip. Instead of a salad bar, they have a poke bar at their supermarket!
Not only is Hawaii beautiful, but I was struck by how well we ate when we were there. We had fresh, wild seafood two to three times a day. Fish is often eaten raw or very lightly cooked. Coconut is incorporated in many of the meals.
Of course, there's a lot of bad food in Hawaii, too. MSG is used at many restaurants. So are trans-fat-laden hydrogenated vegetable oils. If you eat at the fancier restaurants, you can avoid much of these industrial fake foods. But if you cook Hawaiian food at home, you can avoid all of them.
Sesame seeds (2 tsp) — where to buy sesame seeds
Ahi tuna steaks, wild, sushi grade (1 lb)
Soy sauce, tamari, organic, naturally fermented, or homemade fermented fish sauce (1/4 cup)
Green onions, or scallions, organic if possible (1 small bunch)
Onion, Maui or other sweet onion, organic if possible (1 small)
Ginger, fresh (1 knob)
Sesame oil (2 tsp) — where to buy sesame oil
Sea salt — where to buy sea salt
1. Toast the sesame seeds in a small dry pan over low-medium heat on the stove until fragrant and golden, several minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Cut the ahi steaks into bite-sized cubes. Transfer to a large freezer bag, or you can use a mixing bowl.
3. Add the soy sauce or fermented fish sauce.
4. Chop the green onion and Maui onion — about 1/4 cup of each. Add to the bag.
5. Peel the knob of ginger with a vegetable peeler. Grate 1 teaspoon and add to the bag.
6. Add the sesame oil and the toasted sesame seeds.
7. Mix all the ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours before serving.
8. When ready to serve, taste and season with sea salt as necessary.
Photo Credit: Limu Ahi Poke, Honolulu, HI by EffingFoodie, on Flickr