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poke bowl

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I am really enthusiastic about poke because it means eating raw fish. Eating raw fish is GOOD. Especially tuna which is fit only to be eaten raw.

Originating from Hawaii, it’s a salad/starter/appetiser of raw fish, sliced (which is what ‘poke’ literally means in Hawaiian… hang on a second - is that even a language? my ignorance clearly shows through*) and garnished not too much, with seaweed mostly. Great idea - no need for the formality of sashimi, you can have some rice with it but you don’t have to, the key thing of course is that the fish must be SPANKING fresh.

American recipes sometimes quote FDA’s precaution if the fish is fishy: freeze it for at least 24 hours, thaw and eat. I’m not entirely sold on it - if you buy your fish from a reliable and sustainable source who you can actually ask about its journey to your shopping bag, and you’re a Fearless Eater - don’t bother. More harm in my view might come from thawing it later - the defrosting liquid must make nice breeding grounds for all sorts of nasties.  Mind you - the ‘sashimi grade’ label the fishmongers proudly display is BS, unless you are in Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market.

It really needs just a common sense approach: are you worried? Don’t eat raw fish (or meat) at all. Do you like raw fish and think you’ve bought a reasonably fresh beast? Chop it, slice it, sprinkle with sesame and enjoy it.

*but not so much - it IS a language, derived from Polynesian family. There is also Hawaiian Pidgin (who would have thought it’s from that part of the world?) and Hawaiian Creole but that’s a slang rather than a language in its own right.

poke bowl


INGREDIENTS

  • Per person:
  • 100g sashimi-grade fresh tuna steak
  • 1 spring onion, chopped very finely
  • ½ tsp shichimi togarashi seasoning
  • kombu or shony flakes, or 2-3 dried seaweed thins (plus 2 more to serve on)
  • a few macadamia nuts, chopped very finely
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • sea salt flakes
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • a few red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • a little cooked rice (optional)


METHOD

1. If using rice, cook it as you usually do or according to the packet instructions.

2. Cut the tuna steak into 2cm dice. Place it in a bowl with the spring onion, shichimi togarashi, seaweed flakes, chopped nuts and the soy sauce and mix well.

3. Sprinkle liberally with salt, add the sesame oil and stir again.

4. To serve, place a lump of rice in a bowl, if using, arrange the seaweed thins on the sides of the bowl, add the avocado slices, spoon the tuna in and garnish with cherry tomatoes.

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