Boston is getting woke to poke shops. The best poke I’ve enjoyed was in beautiful Hawaii, but let’s be real, what isn’t better when you’re sitting beachside in paradise? With the slow takeover of poke bowls and sushi burritos, it’s hard to avoid on the mainland.
If you’ve been living in the dark, poke is a traditional Hawaiian dish generally made with cubed raw fish, soy sauce, green onions, sesame oil. It can be topped with wonton strips and toasted macadamia nuts like the version served at Manoa Poke Shop down in Somerville and pictured above. Manoa serves up a few types of poke as well as traditional plate lunches with luau pork or fried chicken (yum). It’s a casual counter service joint, opened by two brothers. Go pay the local tribe a visit. Monoa is a true family business in the sea of poke chains.
For those of you that are on your way to the grocery store right now and need instant gratification, pay attention. In one particularly adventurous trip to Whole Foods, I picked up two packages of sashimi grade tuna from a company called Sushi at Home. I would normally avoid this and go to a trusted fish monger, but when you’re in a pinch and feeling zesty at 9 p.m. at Whole Foods, that’s what you’ve got to do.
It’s been sitting in my freezer for the past two weeks, so I finally let it thaw last night and decided to make my own poke. The recipe is pretty forgiving. For instance, I didn’t have scallions but did have a sweet vidalia onion, so you can easily. modify. The key is to make sure you have your soy and sesame oil base and the combinations are pretty endless from there.
12 ounces raw sashimi-grade tuna
3 ounces yellow onion, fine diced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons togarashi
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
5 teaspoons soy sauce, more or less to taste
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon honey
Salt to taste
With a very sharp knife, cut the tuna into 1/2 inch cubes. Gently combine tuna, onion, scallion, sesame seeds, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, and togarashi in a medium bowl. I find the soy adds enough saltiness to the dish, but you can add salt to taste. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare your rice, which in my case takes 60 seconds.
Divide the rice and tuna mixture into 4 bowls. Add avocado, top with sesame seeds and togarashi, and enjoy!
Manoa Poke Shop
300 Beacon St., Somerville