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POKE IS A RAW FISH SALAD usually served as an appetiser in Hawaiian cuisine.
Traditionally, it includes native limu, a type of seaweed, and roasted ground candlenut.
I tried poke for the first time when I visited Hawaii a few years ago. It was served from a food truck and made using the freshest ahi (yellowfin) tuna available. On a warm day, it was exactly what I wanted for lunch – something light and fresh.



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Since then, poke has exploded in popularity around the world and now comes in many variations. In Hawaii, walk into any supermarket and you’ll see at least half a dozen types – poke with soy sauce, octopus poke with wasabi, salmon poke with fish roe, vegetarian avocado poke, tuna poke with kimchi, and everything in-between.
Here’s my take, made using achar, a Malaysian pineapple and cucumber pickle perfect for the warmer weather. The sweet, sour and salty taste from the pickle pairs beautifully with the richness of the tuna, the wonton crisps add some crunch, and the egg ups the protein count. I’ve also gone with red rice instead of sushi rice, but feel free to use quinoa, brown rice, black rice or even barley. This is a chance to be as creative as you like.

 POKE BOWL WITH ACHAR
 
2 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1cm pieces
1/2 pineapple, peeled, core removed, cut into 1cm pieces
2 small red chillies, thinly sliced
3 Asian (red) eschalots, finely chopped
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1 cup (250ml) white vinegar
2 cups (360g) red rice, rinsed Sunflower oil, to shallow-fry
12 wonton wrappers, halved into triangles
2 eggs, lightly beaten
400g skinless sashimi-grade tuna fillet, cut into 1cm cubes
1/4 cup (60ml) light soy sauce
1 tbs each sesame oil and mirin
2 tsp each black and white sesame seeds, toasted, plus extra to serve
200g Chinese cabbage, thinly sliced
3 spring onions, white part finely chopped, green part thinly sliced


 To make the achar, combine cucumber, pineapple, chilli, eschalot and 1 tbs salt flakes in a bowl. Meanwhile, heat sugar, vinegar, 1 cup (250ml) water and 1 tsp salt flakes in a saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool completely. Transfer pineapple mixture to a sieve and rinse under cold water. 
Drain, then stir through vinegar mixture. Stand for 1 hour to pickle slightly, then chill.
Meanwhile, place rice and 3 cups (750ml) water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat
and stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
Heat 2cm sunflower oil in a non-stick frypan over medium-high heat. Fry wonton wrappers for 2 minutes or until golden.
Remove using tongs and drain. Strain oil into a heatproof bowl. Return pan to heat with 1 tbs strained oil. Add egg, swirling to coat pan, and cook for 3 minutes or until
just set. Transfer to a chopping board to cool, then roll up and thinly slice.
Toss tuna, soy, sesame oil, mirin and sesame seeds in a bowl. Stand for 5 minutes. Divide rice, cabbage, marinated tuna, achar, omelette and wonton wrappers among bowls. Scatter with spring onion and extra sesame seeds to serve