Maui Food and Dining

The Awe of Raw: Make Poke at Home Tonight

January 24, 2011, 12:14 PM HST
* Updated January 29, 2:20 AM
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By Erica Garza

Make your own poke tonight or pick up some at nearby supermarkets. Photo courtesy of Foodland Super Market.

In Hawaiian, poke means “cut piece,” and a poke dish will consist of just that: cut pieces or cubes of fresh fish, typically ahi (yellow-fin tuna), tako (octopus) or salmon. The raw fish is usually combined with onions, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil or chili pepper, and in some cases roasted kukui nut and seaweed.

Poke has always been consumed by native Hawaiians using a variety of fish and combinations of seasonings. Modern imports to the island caused traditional poke recipes to evolve based on available ingredients like tomato and avocado.

In numerous supermarkets across the island, you can browse these creative combinations. Our favorites include Lahaina’s Foodland supermarket, known among locals to have a pretty diverse selection of prepared poke at a great value. Pukalani’s Superette also offers impressive fresh poke selections.

If you’re daring enough to make poke yourself tonight, the simple recipe below will serve as a great base.


Ahi Poke


2 pounds fresh tuna steaks, cubed
1 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Hawaiian salt and pepper to taste

Simply combine these ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for up to two hours for four servings. In due time, add your own ingredients and discover for yourself why native Hawaiians have been consuming the dish for centuries.

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