Eat This, Food

Make your own poke

Poke bowls seem to be everywhere. Aurelien Mouren, general manager of our Japanese-Hawaiian restaurant Kaia, shares his tips on how to build them at home

We spent months developing the menu for Kaia. Japanese-Hawaiian food didn’t really exist as a fusion before, so you’re really free. That made it one of the most challenging menus I’ve ever done, but also meant we could be very creative.

Poke bowls require attention to detail. Before you start you need to decide what kind of bowl you’re going to use; how you’re going to cut things; the colours need to stand out; you have to balance a mixture of sweet and savoury flavours; the texture has to be amazing.

The dressing is tricky because you have to find something that works with everything. We went for an ahi dressing made with soy sauce, sesame oil, and raw garlic.

For the ahi tuna poke at Kaia we use sushi rice and sushi-grade tuna, along with pineapple, corn, edamame, and nori, which is a seafood cracker. The centre of the bowl is an avocado flower – to make one, cut the avocado into thin horizontal slices and using two thumbs turn it against you around your thumb into a flower.

To finish, add some chopped chilli, a few sesame seeds, some edible flowers and a couple of lotus root crackers (thinly sliced, deep-fried lotus root).

If you can’t find any of these ingredients, choose your own: the beauty of poke is that it’s up to you.

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