The difference between a professional and a non-professional cook could not be more clearly illustrated than in the recipes that took top honors at the Sam Choy Poke Contest, held earlier this month on the Big Island.
Poke dishes reflect both
complex and simple styles
Hideaki "Santa" Miyoshi, chef at Tokkuri-Tei, won the $3,500 professional prize for his New Age Nigiri Poke, a complex dish that resembles sushi more than poke, although it doesn't contain rice.
His poke has a long list of ingredients and instructions that include making a mousse, rolling it sushi-style, steaming it and serving it with a number of garnishes and sauces. He's simplified the recipe slightly here, for home cooks (if you'd like to try the real thing, he's serving it at his restaurant).
On the side of simplicity is Tammy Tamura, who works at the seafood counter at Safeway in Kapolei. She won the non-professional category and a $1,500 prize. Her Hot Mama poke has a tiny ingredient list and one sentence of instructions.
Prizes were also awarded in the many categories of traditional poke, cooked poke, and pokes using hot sauce, ogo, surimi, hokkigai, macadamia nuts, soy sauce and tofu.
Hot MamaTammy Tamura
5 pounds diced ahi or aku
1 bunch green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons Hawaiian salt
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon chopped fresh habañero
1/2 cup sesame oil
4 tablespoons tobiko
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Combine all ingredients.
New Age Nigiri PokeHideaki "Santa" Miyoshi
2 soft-shell crabs (prime size)
4 pounds shrimp, shelled and butterflied
Flour for dusting
Vegetable oil for frying
1 ripe avocado, cut in strips
2 ounces ginger, peeled and julienned
6-inch piece unagi kabayaki (grilled eel), skinned and cut in strips
2 pounds shrimp, shelled
1/3 package firm tofu
1 cup heavy cream
1 Maui onion, minced
1/4 cup limu kohu (ogo), finely chopped
2 tablespoons inamona (ground roasted kukui nut) or finely grated macadamia or cashew nuts
2 packages enoki mushrooms, in 1-inch lengths (optional)
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
2 large eggs
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
4 cloves garlic, grated
Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
Dust soft-shell crab and shrimp with flour and deep-fry at 350 degrees until crispy. Cut crab in strips. Set aside.
To make mousse: In a food processor, purée shrimp and tofu. With machine running, add cream, then transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Cover a sushi mat with plastic wrap. Spread mousse 1/4-inch thick in an 8-by-8-inch layer over plastic. Place crab, unagi strips, avocado and ginger in the center. Roll up, sushi-style, into a 1-1/2-inch diameter cylinder. Repeat to make about 12 rolls.
Steam mousse in plastic wrap 15 minutes, or until firm. Chill.
Cut mousse in 1/2-inch pieces, dab with mayonnaise, soy sauce and Thai chile sauce; top with fried shrimp.
Nutritional information unavailable.
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