This poke was inspired by the dish at Mud Hen Water in Honolulu, a restaurant that has done a fantastic job melding modern influences with Hawaiian tradition. There, ruby red beets, slicked with sesame oil and studded with crunchy limu seaweed, give a pretty good imitation of ‘ahi. This variation ups the vinegar to cut the sweetness of the beets and, since limu might be hard to find outside of Hawai‘i, swaps it out with wakame seaweed, though the dish is still delicious without it. Beets have a habit of staining everything, so to make the finished dish prettier, I like to reserve the macadamia nuts and a portion of the scallions as garnish. And if you can’t get the color off your hands, try scrubbing with some kosher salt.
3 medium beets (about 1 pound), scrubbed
1/4 cup dried wakame (optional)
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (green parts only)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts
1. Slice the stems off the beets, leaving about 1/2 inch intact. Place the beets in a steamer basket set in a saucepan filled with 1 inch of water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, and then cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Steam until the beets are easily pierced with a sharp knife, about 30 minutes. Remove them from the heat and set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, if you are using the wakame, soak it in water until soft, about 5 minutes. Then gently squeeze it dry, chop it, and place it in a medium bowl.
3. When the beets are cool enough to handle, trim off the ends and slip off the skins. Cut the beets into 3/4-inch dice and add them to the wakame. Add most of the scallions (reserving some for garnish), as well as the vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt. Fold gently until evenly distributed.
4. Serve immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to a day. Just before serving, sprinkle the poke with the reserved scallions and the macadamia nuts.
* * *
Reprinted from The Poke Cookbook. Copyright © 2017 by Martha Cheng. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
- 3 beets
- 1/4 cup wakame
- 1/2 cup scallions
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts