Poke (poh-kay) has arrived on the mainland. The raw fish snack, which hails from Hawaii, exploded on the West Coast over the past year—Los Angeles alone has more than a dozen poke shops—and now it’s gone as far as Chicago and New York. “I took a family trip to Hawaii in 2012 and fell in love with the stuff,” says Drew Crane, who opened one of Manhattan’s first poke-dedicated restaurants, Wisefish, in January. “It’s a real comfort food in Hawaii. People get it from liquor stores, delis and even Costco in round plastic containers to go.” At Wisefish, Crane dresses fish with shoyu and sesame oil to order, and serves it atop a foundation of rice or zucchini noodles. Customers can amp up the mixture with a variety of nontraditional mix-ins such as watermelon radish and sea beans. In sum, the great argument for why poke is here to stay: It satisfies those sushi cravings without denting the wallet, and you can make it at home (perhaps impressing a date in the process) with even the most rudimentary of knife skills. Pro tip: Poke goes great with corn chips.
Wisefish Ahi Poke
• 3 tbsp. tamari shoyu
• 1 tbsp. sesame oil
• 1 tsp. gluten-free oyster sauce
• ½ tsp. freshly grated ginger
• 1 lb. fresh ahi (sashimi-grade yellowfin or bigeye tuna), cut into half-inch cubes
• ¹/3 cup sweet onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
• 4 cups cooked white rice
• 1 avocado, cut into half-inch cubes
• 1 scallion, thinly sliced crosswise
• Toasted sesame seeds
In a small bowl, whisk together shoyu, sesame oil, oyster sauce and ginger. Set aside. In a larger bowl, combine tuna and onion. Add the shoyu-sesame mixture and gently toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. To serve, divide rice among four bowls and top each with a mound of poke. Garnish with avocado, scallion and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.