Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why You Should Be Eating Ahi Poké Salad Right Now

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge JESSICA ELIZARRARAS
  • Jessica Elizarraras

Do you have 10 minutes and a hankering for fresh seafood without a costly trip to your nearest sushi joint? Then please, please make this Hawaiian poké salad. 

The recipe comes from chef Luis Colon of Folc (226 E. Olmos Drive, 210-822-0100), who puts a spin on the traditional Polynesian fave in one of his dinnertime appetizers. Known as po-kay or po-kee —never poak — the salad is an extremely simple preparation of yellowfin or ahi tuna, essentially a ceviche.

Though poké is a big island staple that's trickled into the mainland, and garnered articles such as "Why is poké so hot right now?" from The Los Angeles Times,  "The 10 Best Poké Restaurants in Los Angeles" from LA Weekly, and "Uber-Trendy Build Your Own Poke Bowls Are Headed To Arlington" from Eater Dallas as early as this year, finding poké in SA is a bit more difficult.

Fujia Japanese Garden (9030 Wurzbach Road, 210-615-7553) carries one on their salad menu for $12, as does Wildfish Seafood Grille (1834 N Loop 1604 W., 210-493-1600) though they call theirs a tartare of Pacific ahi tuna with sesame oil, avocado, mango and citrus. Yard House (multiple locations) carries one on their app menu with marinated raw ahi, crispy wontons, avocado and wasabi soy sauce. And the staff at Folc's take deviates from the avocado-filled variations while delivering a fun sight to behold.
click to enlarge JESSICA ELIZARRARAS
  • Jessica Elizarraras
Colon starts with four ounces of sushi-grade ahi tuna that's chopped uniformly into half-inch cubes. From there, he adds 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil,  1 teaspoon of diced green onions, 1 pinch of minced ginger and another of chili flakes. He gently folds the tuna over using a spoon and tops it with a puffed rice paper that gets a sprinkling of onion ash (the onion is left overnight on the grill).
click to enlarge JESSICA ELIZARRARAS
  • Jessica Elizarraras

It's an elegant and restrained dish. The puffed rice paper (which he fries up using canola oil) helps with presentation, but you're really there for the delicate flavor of the tuna. You can also serve your bowl with nori chips, cucumber slices or on a bed of greens. 

Chat with your local fishmonger to get the freshest yellowfin cut-to-order and make sure to read these crucial tips from Food & Wine before you get started. 

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