Poke: tropical and totally trendy

WHY not try making a pretty Hawaiian-style sushi bowl?

Ahi poke Hawaiian style

SERVES: 4

Ingredients

BASE:

240g (1½ cups) white sushi rice

POKE:

400g fresh yellowfin tuna, cut into 1.5 cm cubes

2 tbs sliced Maui or sweet white onion

4 tbs spring onions, just the green tops, finely sliced

½ tsp toasted white sesame seeds

½ tsp toasted black sesame seeds

1 tsp alaea or Hawaiian sea salt (sea salt or Himalayan salt are good alternatives)

MARINADE:

4 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 tbs tamari soy sauce

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp black sesame seeds, lightly toasted

1 tsp white sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Pinch of sugar

Method

Cook the rice as per the cooking instructions below and leave to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine the tuna, white onion, half of the spring onions, half of the black and white sesame seeds, and the salt.

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl, add to the tuna and thoroughly combine.

Serve immediately or leave to marinate for up to 1 hour. Once ready to serve, spoon the cooked rice into 4 bowls and top with the fish and marinade.

Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds and spring onions loosely over the top of the dish. Try pimping your bowls with beetroot, pickled baby corn, lotus root crisps and a few edible violet flowers.

Cooking rice

Perfectly cooked, tender grains of rice are an ideal base for any poke bowl.

While rice cookers offer an easy and reliable route to fluffy rice heaven, hob cooking is easy enough to master. We use white, brown or black short-grain rice in our recipes. Cooking techniques vary for each, so follow the steps below carefully, depending on the grain you have selected.

The following method will yield approximately 480g (2½ cups) of cooked rice.

STEP 1: Weigh out 240g (1 cup) rice and place in a saucepan with a close-fitting lid.

STEP 2: Rinse. Cover the rice with cold water and, using your hand, stir gently to release the excess starch from the grains. Drain and repeat until the water stops turning cloudy.

STEP 3: Once fully rinsed and drained, cover the rice with the following amount of cold water:

White rice ... 240 ml (1 cup)

Brown rice ... 360 ml (1½ cups)

Black rice ... 480 ml (2 cups) (soak black rice for up to 1 hour before cooking)

STEP 4: Place the saucepan on a medium-high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Cover, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook for the following length of time:

White rice ... 15-20 minutes

Brown rice ... 20 minutes

Black rice ... 30 minutes

STEP 5: Once the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and leave, covered, to steam for a further 10 minutes.

STEP 6: Now you can turn the rice out into a wooden sushi rice bowl, if you have one. Using a rice paddle or wooden spoon, gently fold and turn the cooked rice, allowing the steam to evaporate.

STEP 7: At this stage, we like to season the freshly cooked rice. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of mirin with 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, plus 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ a teaspoon of salt. Drizzle the mixture over the hot rice while gently folding to coat each grain.

STEP 8: The rice should now be left for 10 minutes to cool before using for your poke bowl.

This is an edited extract from Poke by Celia Farrar and Guy Jackson, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $24.99 and is available in stores nationally. Photographer: ©Matt Russell.


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