I’ve mentioned before that Tuna Poke (pronounced poh-keh) is one of my all-time favorite foods. With a bowl of hot rice, it’s simply without parallel from an effort to taste ratio. That’s why as summer wears on, and cooking in a hot kitchen becomes increasingly tedious, Poke becomes a regular part of the rotation.
The problem is, no matter how much I love something, I can only eat a dish so many times before I lose interest and move on. The secret to Poke’s long running popularity at my table has been its versatility. With different fish, condiments and seasonings there’s an almost infinite number of possibilities.
This Poke made with hamachi, red onions and pistachios has been a big hit. With a spicy dose of chili bean paste and refreshing herbal accents coming from the ginger and cilantro, it’s an equally satisfying dish that’s refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day.
Because the fish is not cooked, be sure to check out my post on selecting fish that is safe to eat raw.
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 0.75 ounces pistachios, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 7 ounces hamachi (yellowtail)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon doubanjiang
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 7 ounces seaweed (1/4 cup)
- handful of cilantro, hand torn
- Soak the red onions in cold water for at least 4 hours. This tames the onion making it milder and less pungent. You can speed this process up a bit by adding baking soda to the water, which helps neutralize the volatile sulfur compounds that make onions "spicy".
- Put the chopped pistachios in a cast iron skillet and toast over medium high heat until the nuts start turning golden brown. Be sure to keep them moving around the pan constantly either by tossing or by stirring to ensure they brown evenly.
- When the pistachios are done roasting, turn them out onto a sheet of foil or a sheet pan to cool.
- Using a sharp knife, slice your hamachi into bite-size chunks and add them to a bowl.
- Add the sesame oil, doubanjiang, ginger, and salt and toss to coat evenly.
- Drain the onions and then rinse them before running them through a salad spinner to dry them off. Add them to the bowl with the hamachi.
- If your seaweed is dried follow the package directions to rehydrate, you want 1/4 cup after it's been rehydrated. Add the seaweed, cilantro and about half the pistachio nuts and toss to distribute evenly.
- Plate and garnish with the rest of the pistachios.
Yield: 2 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.