Archive for May 30, 2020

Ahi Tuna Poke, Four Ways

My family just loves seafood. One of our favorites is ahi tuna poke.  One of our best memories of one of our vacations to Oahu, Hawaii is being able to find a variety of poke almost everywhere, even in grocery stores, and not just ahi tuna poke but poke made with smoked octopus, salmon, shrimp, and other seafood delights!

Here are four of our ahi tuna poke favorites.  Clockwise from the top left:  Shoyu Poke, Ogo Seaweed Poke, Kimchee Base Poke, Spicy Mayo Poke.  Give them a try.  I think you’ll like them. 🙂

 

 

All four recipes below have a few ingredients in common:  ahi tuna, green onions, and either yellow, Maui, or any other sweet onion variety.

Cut the tuna steaks into 1/2-inch cubes.  I find it easier to cut them while still partially frozen.

     

Slice the green onions and yellow onions.

     

 

Now for the four variations — Shoyu, Ogo Seaweed, Spicy Mayo, and Kimchee Base.

 

Shoyu Poke

Shoyu — or soy sauce — poke is probably the simplest to make.  Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili flakes in a small bowl.
Pour the Shoyu mixture over the ahi.
Add green and yellow onions.  Stir to combine. 

 

Ogo Seaweed Poke

Ogo seaweed gets its name from — you guessed it — the Ogo seaweed that’s in it. 😀Ogo seaweed poke is also pretty simple to make.  It’s getting the ingredients that’s going to prove challenging, especially if you don’t have an international market nearby.

You’ll need dried ogo — a little goes a long way.  I used maybe a couple of pinches of ogo for this recipe.  I got a good supply of dried ogo on my last trip to Hawaii, but I have seen it sold in international markets.  You can even order it from Amazon.

I also used Alaea (Hawaiian) sea salt in this recipe, but if you can’t find it, pink Himalayan sea salt will work in a pinch.

     

To make Ogo Seaweed Poke, add a couple of pinches of dried ogo, alea sea salt, sesame oil, Chili pepper flakes, green onions, and yellow onions to the bowl of ahi.

Stir to combine.  Sprinkle nori komi furikake over the top.

This is the furikake to use (nori komi furikake).

Spicy Mayo Poke

Spicy Mayo Poke is a popular one.  The beauty of this version is you can make it as spicy (or not spicy at all) as you want.  I usually make it not spicy, then add the spice (sriracha) to my own serving.  This way pleases everyone in my family.  One doesn’t like spicy foods, another likes it mild, I like it a little more than mild, and another likes it mouth-on-fire hot. 🌶🌶🌶🌶

To make Spicy Mayo Poke, you’ll need kewpie mayo, soy sauce, aji mirin, garlic powder, lime juice, and sriracha.

            

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, including sliced green and yellow onions.

Stir to combine. Pour the mixture over the ahi. Stir to combine.

 

Kimchee Base Poke

Kimchee Base is a unique ingredient for most, but it’s commonly sold in Asian or international markets.  It’s usually used for — you guessed it — making kimchee, but I like to use it in many different recipes.

To make kimchee base kimchee, in a small bowl mix together kimchee base, aji mirin, sesame oil, and rice vinegar.

Pour the mixture over the ahi.  Add green and yellow onions.  Stir to combine.

 

That’s it!

Four versions of ahi tuna poke, all delicious (trust me), and all super easy to make.  Serve with hot steamed rice and enjoy!

 

 

Ahi Tuna Poke, Four Ways
 
Author:
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Ingredients
Shoyu Poke
  • ½ pound ahi tuna
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup sliced yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Chili pepper flakes, to taste
Ogo Seaweed Poke
  • ½ pound ahi tuna
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup sliced yellow onions
  • 2 pinches dried ogo seaweed
  • 1 teaspoon alea (Hawaiian) sea salt
  • Chili pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons nori komi furikake
Spicy Mayo Poke
  • ½ pound ahi tuna
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup sliced yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons kewpie mayo
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon aji mirin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha, more or less to taste
Kimchee Base Poke
  • ½ pound ahi tuna
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup sliced yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon kimchee base
  • 1 tablespoon aji mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon rice vinegar
Instructions
  1. For each poke recipe, mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Serve over hot steamed white rice.
  3. Enjoy!

 

Mexican Street Corn

There’s something about eating grilled corn that makes it feel like summer as well as making a BBQ all that more exciting and delicious!

One of my favorite ways to eat corn on the cob is what’s called elotes or Mexican street corn. It’s grilled corn slathered with a mixture of Mexican crema and mayo, then covered in salty, yummy cotija cheese.  There are a few restaurants and local vendors here in town that make this, but why go out and buy it when you can make it right in your own kitchen?

Crema looks like a more watery version of sour cream, bit it is actually similar to Crème fraiche as it has a higher butterfat content than sour cream and is less acidic.

Cotija is a hard, crumbly Mexican cheese that is made from cow’s milk that resembles feta cheese.

To make this deliciousness, start by cooking your corn.  You want it cooled enough so that the crema-mayo mixture adheres to it without melting from the heat of the corn.

Add the crema to a small bowl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the mayo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the garlic and onion powders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the tajin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stir to mix.  Set aside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your cotija cheese comes in a block or wedge, you need to crumble it.  You can use a food processor to do this, or if you’re like me and don’t want to dirty extra dishes or utensils, crumble it with a fork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want an extra special touch to your corn, try adding your favorite crushed chips.  I used Doritos here.  Place the chips in a quart-sized resealable bag, about 3/4 full.  Use whatever you have on hand to crush the chips — a mallet, a can of soup, your fist — whatever works.  You want small crumbs, but don’t pulverize it into a powder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pour the chips out onto a plate (it makes for easier coating if on a flat surface).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the fun part begins.  Take one ear of corn and slather it liberally with the crema-mayo mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roll the covered corn in the crumbled cotija cheese.  Use a fork to really get the cheese stuck onto the crema-mayo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re not feeling adventurous and don’t want to add crushed chips, that’s perfectly fine.  You can sprinkle on more tajin and call it good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or, go all-in and roll your elotes in some chips! Yeah, baby!  This is some good stuff, right here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My recipe is enough to make four elotes.  Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mexican Street Corn
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup Mexican crema
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons tajin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup crushed chips, optional
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the crema, mayo, tajin, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  2. Slather the crema-mayo mixture over cooked and cooled ears of corn.
  3. Roll the crema-mayo covered corn in the crumbled cotija cheese.
  4. Roll the cheese-covered corn in the crushed chips if desired.

 

BBQ Sauce

I usually opt for fina’denne’ with my food, but occasionally I love a good BBQ sauce, most especially on smoked brisket, and sometimes on BBQ chicken.

I like my BBQ sauce to be a cross between the tangy, vinegary Carolina sauce and the thick, sweet Kansas BBQ sauce.

This is an easy sauce to whip up.  Chances are you have everything you need in your fridge and pantry already.  If you want your sauce to be spicy, add a tablespoon or more (to taste) of chili flakes, or the hot chili pepper of your choosing.

 

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

 

Mix everything in a small saucepan.  Cook over low heat just until it simmers.  Serve immediately or keep in a sealed container and refrigerate.  This sauce actually tastes better if you make it a day ahead.

 

BBQ Sauce

 

Give my recipe a try the next time you’re grilling or smoking.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

 

BBQ Sauce on Smoked Brisket

 

 

BBQ Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A tangy, slightly sweet BBQ sauce
Author:
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1⅔ cups
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Whisk; cook over low heat until it starts to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any unused sauce in a sealed container.

 

Banana Lumpia

Banana lumpia is a super simple dessert to make.  It requires just a few ingredients — cooking bananas, sugar, cinnamon, and lumpia wrappers.

These are the kind of cooking bananas I like to use.  There are several varieties you can buy.  The one I see at most Asian stores (you can also find them in Hispanic markets as well) are a variety called Burro bananas.  Thai bananas also work well here.  The bananas pictured below are the Thai variety.

You want to make sure the bananas are fully ripe before making your banana lumpia.  They should be a deep yellow with a few black spots.  The bananas will still be slightly firm as well.

To prepare the bananas, peel and slice 6 bananas in half, lengthwise.  Cut each half in half again, lengthwise, giving you four long pieces.  Each piece should be about four inches long.

Set the bananas aside for now while you prepare your lumpia wrappers.  The brand I prefer is Wei-Chuan spring roll shells.  I find they stay crisp longer, and they are very easy to separate, even when partially frozen.

Separate the wrappers, then cover with a clean cloth to keep them from drying out.

To assemble the lumpia, place brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Use a fork to mix it all together.

Spread about a tablespoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on one corner of the lumpia wrapper.

Lay one piece of sliced banana on top of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Another option is to roll each banana slice in the sugar mixture then place the coated banana on the lumpia wrapper.

To roll the lumpia, begin by folding the bottom corner up and over the banana.  Slowly roll upward, sort of like forming a cigar shape.

Fold each side inward, as if you were making an envelope.

Continue rolling the lumpia, as tight as you can, until there are about two inches left of the top corner.

Dip your fingertip in some water then wet the top corner along the edges.  Finish rolling the lumpia over the moistened edge, pressing slightly to seal.

Finish rolling the lumpia.  If you plan on frying them right away, leaving them out is fine.  Otherwise, place rolled lumpia in an airtight container (a resealable bag also works well) and place in the refrigerator or freezer.

To fry the lumpia, heat oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees F.

Carefully add the lumpia to the hot oil, making sure not to crowd the oil.

Fry the lumpia until golden brown. They are ready at this point—as shown in the photo below.  One popular cooking option is to create a caramelized coating by sprinkling sugar over the lumpia as it fries.  I don’t particularly care for this as it makes a huge mess in the oil.  If you’d like, you can serve up your lumpia with some caramel sauce on the side (caramel sauce used for ice cream sauce works well) for drizzling or dipping.

Enjoy!

Banana Lumpia
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious, crispy dessert made with bananas and cinnamon-sugar, rolled in a lumpia wrapper and fried until golden brown and crispy.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Chamorro, Filipino
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 6 cooking bananas, such as Burro or Thai variety
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

    Other:
  • Water, for sealing
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. Slice each banana in half, lengthwise, then slice each half in half again, lengthwise, giving your four pieces per banana.
  2. Separate the lumpia wrappers.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar together.
  4. Place a tablespoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture close to the bottom of a lumpia wrapper. Place one slice of banana over the cinnamon-sugar. Roll upward, like a cigar. Fold in the two edges, then continue rolling upward. Rub some water along the top edge of the lumpia wrapper; press to seal.
  5. Fry the lumpia in oil heated to 350 degrees until golden brown. Serve while hot and crisp.
  6. Option: serve with a side of caramel sauce for drizzling or dipping.