Thursday, October 27, 2011

Island Style, Part 2

Classic Ahi Poke at Hookipa Beach, Maui

Two very common things on the Hawaiian food scene here are poke and Spam. First what can I say about Spam, the canned mystery meat?  If you grow up here it's part of your culture and considered a comfort food. Its history here in the Islands dates back to the days of the war in the Pacific; it was the only meat available to the soldiers and it remained to this day a common meat choice. I respect that, but will pass on it because I am not used to eating out of cans. Now poke I like, its raw marinated fish that is really good as a quick snack or a appetizer. Its found it just about everywhere with many varieties, Ahi tuna being the most common. Other varieties may include octopus, salmon or maybe even marlin. There is a heavy Asian influence in its seasonings which can include sea salt, soy sauce, seaweed, green or Maui onions, sesame oil and Sambal chili for the spicy versions. What sets poke apart from other raw fish recipes is that the fish is still kept in its raw state without the use of a citrus juice to "cook" it like a ceviche. A recent discovery that I found is Korean style poke with spicy kim chee added- yum!

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