I love sashimi, but then who doesn’t !? For me, having raw seafood is not a new idea, since I was introduced to this way of eating when I turned 5 or 6. My parents took me to a restaurant to have raw shrimps. How we ate it was dip the raw shrimps in a mix of lime,
salt and pepper, and wasabi paste. I fell in love with it from then. The flavour was so shocking and the texture was so fresh and firm and crunchy. It was just an amazing experience.
Later on I was introduced to ceviche, where raw fish was marinated in a sour and salty mix. This process cooks the fish very lightly on the outside, while leaving the inside raw and fresh, with the help of the acid from the citrus juice. Then there was carpaccio, then sashimi, then poke. I believe I had a similar dish as poke at a Toronto restaurant named Kinka. The big chunks of raw salmon was marinated in soy and jalapeno. However the chunks were too big and left a funny texture in my mouth while I was chewing… I did like the concept of marinated raw fish, though.
I have heard about poke lately and it is slowly becoming a trend here in Canada in 2016. I did some research on this dish as it caught my attention right away. It is easy to prepare and is totally a crowd pleaser. To my understanding, this dish was created in Hawaii by the Japanese descendants. It is in fact shown in the ingredients, such as mirin, sesame, and soy sauce. Aside from Chinese, Japanese are one of the most innovative people when it comes to cuisine development. Wherever they go, they always find a way to merge their culture and the local culture into one and embrace it, and turn it into a culture of its own. If you don’t know already, tempura is actually a Portuguese dish, which is deep fried battered vegetables. It looks like a Korean pancake, but the Japanese have turned it into the tempura as we know it to date. Even ramen is strongly believed to originate from China long long time ago. Back to the poke story, I was so intrigued by it that I decided to make my own version of it based on the wikipedia explanation of the dish. Anything I used in this recipe will be explained in the Notes below, so if you are interested, follow through my recipe and then see how it is. Then, I’d be interested to learn about your own interpretation of the poke 🙂
Please don’t hesitate to send me your own interpretation or final products so that I can feature on my post. Otherwise, you can also tag me on Instagram using hashtag #ACornerKitchen
Now let’s start.
Preparation time: 15 mins + 30 mins marinating
Servings: 1 (me!!!)
- 1/2 lb sushi-grade fish. I had Japanese Amberjack fillet
- 3 chilies
- 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Japanese rice topping in wasabi flavour
- In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, ginger, chili, vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside so the flavours can develop
- Use a really sharp knife to slice and cut the fillet into small cubes
- In a clean bowl, add in the fresh fish cubes, then add in the soy sauce mix. Stir well and add the rice topping on top and let marinate for 30 minutes
- Mix well and serve on the side with rice or as snack. Before serving you can also sprinkle some extra rice topping on top of the poke
- DEFINITELY EXTREMELY CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT: Please please please only use sushi-grade fish for this dish. This is to prevent you from adding any virus or germs into your body (including dangerous and fatal ones). Just to note that if you live in the area where you have access to fresh and live fish, then you can certainly ask the fish mongers to give you the fish fillets that can be consumed raw. Other than that sushi-grade is your best bet, even though a bit pricey. One more thing to note is that if you decide to be adventurous and kill a fish and fillet it for the freshest ingredient, make sure you pick a salt water fish, because salt water fishes do not give out that fishy smell and taste.
- I used brown rice vinegar. It sounds fancy or organic or healthy or whatever, but it’s just vinegar, and can be substituted with mirin or normal rice vinegar. The better choice is the sweet rice vinegar, not the normal white vinegar. You can also try with apple cider vinegar for new flavour test.
- Japanese rice topping can also be substituted with just toasted sesame seeds, just as the original recipes call for. I just felt like the seasoning offers more flavour profile as it has its own flavour to add to the dish. I picked wasabi, but you have your own choice and creativity to work on.
- Don’t add this fish on top of rice when serving, but on the side, as the hot rice might cause the poke to lose its taste and flavour.