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July 2017 / Food & Drink / by Liz Skone James

RECIPE: HAWAIIAN STYLE AHI POKE

Bored of barbecues? Wow guests at your next al fresco bash with something they might not have tried before. Hailing from Hawaii, poke (pronounced ‘poh-kay’) is a colourful mix of raw cubes of fish, with a soy-based dressing, served in a bowl with rice, pickles and colourful toppings. Few do it better than Guy Jackson and Celia Farrar, founders of Eat Poke, the original poke traders at Kerb London. Their new book, Poke: Hawaiian-Inspired Sushi Bowls (Hardie Grant, £12.99) is out now. Here, they share one of their favourite dishes.

INGREDIENTS
For the base
– 240g white sushi rice
– 2 tbsp mirin
– 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
– 1 tsp sugar
– ½ tsp salt

For the poke
– 400g fresh yellowfin tuna, cut into 1.5cm cubes
– 2 tbsp sliced Maui or sweet white onion
– 4 tbsp spring onions, just the green tops, finely sliced
– ½ tsp toasted white sesame seeds
– ½ tsp toasted black sesame seeds
– 1 tsp alaea or Hawaiian sea salt (sea salt or Himalayan salt are good alternatives)

For the marinade
– 4 tsp toasted sesame oil
– 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
– 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
– 1 tsp black sesame seeds, lightly toasted
– 1 tsp white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
– pinch of sugar

METHOD
1. Place rice in a saucepan with a close-fitting lid. Cover with cold water and, using your hand, stir gently to release the excess starch from the grains. Drain and repeat until the water stops turning cloudy.

2. Once fully rinsed and drained, cover the rice with 240 ml water. Place the saucepan on a medium-high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Cover, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook for 15–20 minutes.

3. Once the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and leave, covered, to steam for a further 10 minutes. Now you can turn the rice out into a wooden sushi rice bowl, if you have one. Using a rice paddle or wooden spoon, gently fold and turn the cooked rice, allowing the steam to evaporate.

4. At this stage, we like to season the freshly cooked rice. Whisk together the mirin with the rice wine vinegar, plus sugar and salt. Drizzle the mixture over the hot rice while gently folding to coat each grain. The rice should now be left for 10 minutes to cool before using for your poke bowl.

5. In a large mixing bowl combine the tuna, white onion, half of the spring onions, half of the black and white sesame seeds, and the salt. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl, add to the tuna and thoroughly combine. Serve immediately or leave to marinate for up to 1 hour.

6. Once ready to serve, spoon the cooked rice into 4 bowls and top with the fish and marinade.

 7. Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds and spring onions loosely over the top of the dish.

8. Try pimping your bowls with beetroot pickled baby corn, lotus root crisps and a few edible violet flowers.