Monday, March 28, 2016

Spicy Tuna Poke Bowls

We had a really nice Easter weekend and had some really delicious food. I can't wait to share that here. My timeline is always a bit messed up because I don't always get around to editing posts as quickly as I would like. Plus, because I work full time, I cooked like a fiend on weekends (and for dinner on weeknights) and I'll cobble multiple posts out of those sessions and space them out in my timeline so that I don't have weeks of emptiness on the blog.

So, today's post is somewhat dated in that poke bowls have been a thing for a while and I'm only just now hopping on that bandwagon. However, I really have been seeing poke bowls everywhere lately. They're the new cronut or something. Anyway, I had poke for the first time when I visited Maui in 2012. We were just shopping at a FoodLand and in the deli department, they had a fridge full of various pokes. (By the way, "poke" is pronounced "poh-kay.") I tried one made with a soy sauce based seasoning and kind of fell in love. I mean, it was like a giant bowl version of sushi.

Since I enjoyed my hwe dup bap so much much, I thought, why not try this Hawaiian equivalent? But, because I'm me and I always want to tweak things to suit my palate, I took the flavors I remembered from the version I tried over four years ago (the soy and the sesame and the slight sweetness) and upped the spice factor with lots of jalapeno and wasabi. Well, it turned out yummy enough to share.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
rice
1 cup short grain rice
1 cup water

poke
½ teaspoon grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ onion, diced
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 scallion, chopped
2 teaspoon sesame seeds (white and black)
1 tablespoon wasabi
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon black salt (or pink Himalayan salt)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tuna steak (8 oz), diced
1 avocado, cubed
+ cilantro leaves

Start by making some sticky rice. Combine rice and water in a rice cooker or a saucepan over low and cook until tender.
To make the poke, mince some garlic, grate some ginger, finely chop some scallions, dice some onion, and slice a jalapeno and add to a bowl. Season with wasabi, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, Hawaiian salt, and lime juice. Stir to combine.
Dice the tuna into small pieces (I like ½" cubes) and add to the bowl and stir.
Finish with some diced avocado and that's the poke, done. By the way, the poke can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge. I would only make it a few hours in advance, not an entire day.
To make the poke bowls, scoop in some still-warm rice and then top with a generous amount of poke.
I was also making some salmon sashimi, so to decorate the top, I added a few slices for color, along with some cilantro leaves.
I love this meal so much. The contrast of the warm rice to the cold poke is awesome. The poke itself is bright and spicy and has a nice balance of salt and sweet and I love that it's so quick and easy to make. Impress some guests by inviting them over to share this meal with you.
And if you were curious, here's what the salmon sashimi looked like.
Here's the recipe page:

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