a triple winner
at poke festival
Hideo Kurihara won the trifecta at the Sam Choy Poke Contest, held over the weekend at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Big Island.
Kurihara's poke and watercress salad won the best of show award, plus first place in the professional category and first place in its specialty category of poke using hokkigai, or Japanese clam.
It was also a showcase win for the host hotel, as Kurihara is the chef at the Prince's Japanese restaurant, the Hakone Steakhouse & Sushi Bar.
Kurihara's dish shows how far you can take poke beyond its fish-shoyu-ogo roots. His version adds Japanese ingredients and flavorings.
Other top winners at the annual event were Scott Sorrel of the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui, second place in the professional category; and Kerry Kakuzu of Honolulu and Sam Kong Kee of San Francisco, first and second place, respectively, in the amateur division.
The poke festival, which includes a golf tournament and clambake, raised nearly $30,000 for the Kawaihae Transitional Housing Program.
Marinate ahi in soy sauce and sake for 20 minutes.
5 pounds fresh ahi, thinly sliced
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup sake
1 pound gobo, peeled and julienned
1 medium carrot (4 ounces), peeled and julienned
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 bunches watercress
1 pound hokkigai
2 myoga, julienned (see note)
2 tablespoons chile paste
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Pinch EACH salt and white pepper
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
Meanwhile, sauté gobo and carrots in sesame oil 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and soy sauce.
Blanch watercress in salted water. Squeeze out water and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Combine dressing ingredients; toss with watercress and hokkigai.
To serve: Place sautéed gobo and carrots on a platter. Top with the watercress-hokkigai salad and the marinated ahi. Garnish with myoga.
Nutritional information unavailable.
Note: Myoga is a dark pink bud used in pickles and for garnishes. Find it in Japanese markets such as Marukai.
Last week, two requests came in for the same Japanese dish, Salmon Shioyaki. The requesters, Gail and John-Mark Kuba, are mother and son, who had been sent on this mission, unbeknownst to each other, by Mildred Nakakura, Gail's mother and John-Mark's grandmother. But the person who really wants the recipe is their aunty, Jean Nakakura.
Shioyaki simply means salt-grilled and it's not so much a recipe as a technique. In recognition of this joint family incursion, here's how it's done: Cut a salmon fillet into serving-size pieces and rub all over with salt. Let sit 30 minutes, then grill. Serve with grated daikon and a slice of lemon. That's it.
Shioyaki is often made with smaller, whole fish, rubbed inside and out with salt.
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