If you are a sushi or sashimi lover, I can assume that you are well familiar with paying high price tags to enjoy a nice meal at your favorite neighborhood sushi restaurant. Typically, rolls cut into 6 pieces run $6 on up; two pieces of sashimi often cost the same or more. By the time you have had enough to eat, you’ve spent a few bucks. For this reason, a good sushi meal has always been something of a special occasion in our house.
But then we discovered poke! This wonderful concoction is a simple Hawaiian dish made up of raw fish, sesame oil, soy sauce, seaweed and salt. It has been eaten on the Hawaiian Islands since long before the settlers came along and colonized the place. It sells today in almost every Hawaiian market at the deli counter…for as low as $8.99 a pound the last time we were in Kauai.
The word ‘poke’ (pronounced Poh-kay) in Hawaiian means “to slice or cut” and that is exactly what poke is – sliced or chopped fish blended with condiments. I have seen Ahi Poke (tuna), Shrimp Poke, Salmon Poke, Crab Poke, Lobster Poke and others. Sometimes garlic, Maui onions, chili peppers or kukui nuts are added to mix it up a bit but nothing beats a simple, well-mixed poke.
Next time you are in Hawaii, give it a go. You will probably find yourself enjoying Poke for lunch on the beach almost every day. It makes such a great meal and it’s one of those bargains that is difficult to find back home…unless you happen to live in an area with an Hawaiian population!