Hawaiian Poke. Aloha from Maui! In Korean culture, its customary to celebrate your parent’s 60th birthday (‘Hwangap’). In the past, a person’s average life expectancy was much less than 60. So Hwangap was a celebration-worthy milestone. This celebration party is customarily thrown by the children – usually a big celebration with lots of food! However, I wanted to switch it up a bit. Instead of splurging on food, I wanted to splurge my parents with experiences. Growing up, our family never had the time or money to take an proper vacation. So Hwangap was the perfect reason to check out the beautiful Hawaiian islands.
It was hard to choose between the islands – but I selected Maui. And boy – it did not disappoint. Maui was beautiful, simply picturesque! Anywhere we went on the island looked like a calendar photo. The beaches in West Maui felt cozy, sheltered and almost intimate at times (our favorites were Napili Beach and Kapalua Bay). The water was warm, inviting and clear. Clear enough to see sea turtles frolicking near the rocks. The beauty of the island simply blew our minds.
We kept saying to each other that this island was #blessed. And that if we ever found ourselves feeling down-and-out or depressed in the future, the panacea would be a week on Maui 😎
During our 7-day trip, we fell in love with Hawaiian poke! Poke is a Hawaiian dish that’s all about raw fish – usually Ahi (yellow-fin tuna). The poke from Hawaii tasted light and simple and didn’t overpower the taste of the fresh fish. I’ve had poke a few times in California, but its always been lathered in sauces. I always got annoyed by this – when shops turn a healthy dish “unhealthy” for the sake of more flavor.
In Maui, we sampled various types of poke at restaurants and food trucks. But surprisingly felt that the poke from the local grocery markets tasted the best. It matched our palate perfectly. I particularly liked Shoyu Ahi Poke (‘Shoyu’ means Soy Sauce in Japanese)
After eating Shoyu Ahi Poke for 3 days in a row, I wanted to learn how to make it. I experimented with a few recipes from online and was excited to find one that tasted identical to the one from the local Maui market.
This deeelicious recipe is from HawaiianMagazine.com
Hawaii-style Ahi Poke
- Sushi-grade Ahi - 1 lb
- Soy sauce - 1/4 cup
- Green onion - 1 forearm-sized stalk we need 1/4 cup
- Onion - 1/2 a whole we need 1/4 cup
- Fresh ginger - 1 pinky-sized piece we need 1 teaspoon
- Sesame oil - 2 teaspoons
- Sea salt - 3-4 shakes
- Sesame seeds - 2 teaspoons
- Cut ahi into small bite-sized cubes. Place into a large mixing bowl.
- Chop green onion into thin pieces - measure 1/4 cup. Dice onion into small cubes - measure 1/4 cup. Grate the fresh ginger - measure 1 teaspoon.
- Take out another mixing bowl. Mix-in all of the listed ingredients under 'Marinade'
- Pour the soy-sauce marinade over the ahi pieces. Toss the pieces thoroughly into the sauce.
- Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours - let the marinade soak in.
- Bon Appetit - enjoy!
- See video below for more details