• Chef Dylan

ASIAN SALMON POKE



This stunning looking dish will have you looking like a professional chef. It can be whipped up in under 10 minutes and what’s more, it not only tastes delicious it's packed full of nutrients that your body will thank you for and you’ll end up feeling satisfied but light afterwards.

Pronounced ‘Poh-KAY’, the word ‘poke’, Hawaiian for “to slice”, or “cut crosswise into pieces” is diced raw fish and is one of the main dishes of Native Hawaiian cuisine. Native Hawaiian fishermen would slice up reef fish and serve them raw with whatever was on hand. The poke bowl is one of those recipes that once you make it and taste it for the first time, you’re going to ask yourself “Why haven’t I made this before?!” as it’s so easy to prepare. When you serve it up to your guests or loved ones the visual delight always elicits a “Wow - that looks amazing!”. As always make sure you use the freshest of ingredients so get your salmon from the local fisho and your veg from your trusted greengrocer.


This dish only requires you to cook one thing: the rice. Don’t hesitate to use any rice that you enjoy eating. I personally love the texture of brown rice; coconut sushi rice works wonderfully well too. For this dish, I’ve used salmon, but feel free to mix up the protein and the veg with all your personal favourites. My luck dragon hand-crafted small-batch Asian sauce is an excellent accompaniment to poke using only all-natural ingredients. It’s perfectly balanced, with slow-roasted garlic, premium Japanese soy, sesame oil and a little kick of roasted local Queensland chilli.


Did you know? The first people to create the poke bowl were the ancient Polynesians centuries ago. It really transformed once it made its way to Hawaii when the native Hawaiians feasted on freshly caught fish massaged with sea salt, seaweed and crushed inamona or kukui nuts. Later it evolved to mirror the tastes of new waves of arrivals to the islands. When ships from the West Coast dropped anchor in local ports, sailors traded salmon for salt. Waves of immigrants from China and Japan introduced soy sauce and sesame oil. Just as each group has added their own dishes to Hawaii’s culinary melting pot, variations of poke have been devised. Visit any poke counter in Hawaii today and you’ll find not just ahi limu (seaweed) and spicy ahi poke, but kimchee shrimp, furikake salmon, miso tako (octopus), pipikaula (dried beef) and even bacalao poke made with Portuguese dried salt cod.


Most historians agree that it wasn’t until the 1960’s and 70s, that the name “poke” was given to the dish we currently recognise as the poke bowl today. The naming of poke came about when native Hawaiian ‘ahi yellowfin and bigeye tuna became more readily available. This was because ‘ahi tasted good and its bright pink hue was far more aesthetically pleasing than the dull, grey colour of the local reef fish. It was a man named Chef Sam Choy, who was one of the early purveyors and passionate promoters of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement of the early 90s, and who was instrumental in bringing poke bowls as we know them today to the masses.


Poke bowls didn’t make their way to Australia, however, until 2016. The first dedicated restaurant opened in Sydney in May 2016, aptly called ‘Poke', while another called ‘Poked’ opened its doors just a few months later in Melbourne. ‘Poked’ was the brainchild of two commerce students and one medical student who is “passionate about heart health”. Poke didn’t come to Queensland until 2017 when ‘Suki’ opened in Brisbane.


Now, these awesome specialty poke-style restaurants have become a much-loved healthy meal choice and you’ll find them scattered up and down the coast. Perhaps next time you are out and about and looking for a healthy meal why not give one a go, but make my version at home for yourself first, and see if the restaurant version is anywhere near up to your homemade one!


Chef Dylan Tips: It pays to be attentive when buying your seafood to look for visual clues for freshness. When you befriend your local fishmonger, you can ask questions about the freshness and the best choice for price and sustainability.


PREP TIME: 10 mins

SERVINGS: 2


INGREDIENTS

  • 1x 250g sashimi-grade salmon, cubed

  • 2 x spring onions

  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked

  • 1x avocado, thinly sliced

  • 1x cup red cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 1x cup baby spinach sliced

  • 1x medium carrot cut into matchsticks

  • 1x cup blanched edamame

  • 1x Lebanese cucumber, sliced

  • 2 tbsps toasted sesame seeds

  • 3 tbspsLUCK DRAGON Asian sauce

  • 2 tbsps whole egg mayonnaise

METHOD


PREPARE THE POKE

1. Remove the salmon skin and discard it. Examine the salmon to see if there are any bones lodged in the meat and use a pair of fishbone tweezers to remove them.

2. Cut the salmon into 1/2-inch cubes. Add the salmon into a medium-sized bowl and set it aside.

3. Add the LUCK DRAGON Asian sauce into a small bowl. Add mayonnaise and mix well.

4. Add the spring onions to the bowl with the salmon. Pour in half of the sauce.

5. Use a rubber spatula to gently mix the salmon until it’s evenly coated with the sauce. Taste the salmon and mix in a bit more sauce if needed.


TO ASSEMBLE

1. Place the rice into the base of 2 medium serving bowls.

2. Artistically arrange the salmon, edamame, baby spinach, carrot, cucumber and avocado on top of the rice.


TO SERVE


Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. (I like to do it like the Turkish salt bae). Serve the remaining sauce on the side to drizzle over for some extra umami flavour!