On a recent road trip to the island of Kauai, we ran across the Koloa fish market. Now I’ve had “ahi poke” (POH-kay), but not like this. These dishes are loosely based on leftover cuts of fish that didn’t quite make the cut for a feature dish or primal cut. No less fresh, just not something that needs to be thrown away. Pictured from left to right:
scallop salad: don’t know where they got the meat for this dish, it was a little toothsome but really tasty. There were bits of seaweed and glass noodles.
wasabi ahi: the sauce was a tart, spicy version of wasabi mayo
lomi lomi salmon: non-spicy version of tomato salsa with salmon and fresh roe
Korean-style poke: scallions, sesame seed and oil, spicy peppers
Not pictured, and one of my favorites: octopus poke with a briny seaweed and more fish roe. Very similar to the scallop salad in terms of toothsomeness.
I’ve seen a lot of sashimi dishes on some of the competition cooking shows, but I think this differs in that there are small chunks of fish in what otherwise might have been tossed out. Sashimi is often found thinly sliced with some sort of vinaigrette-style sauce and garnish. if you’re not a fan of raw fish, this will all be lost on you, but if you are, don’t be afraid to branch out from spicy tuna and dragon rolls.