Let’s be frank, the Hawaiians stole the poke (po-kay) bowl from the Japanese and their original “chirasushi”, or scattered sushi, just as they stole the macadamia nut from us.
So here I am stealing it back AND making it better by combining the freshness of raw fish with the smokiness of slightly scorched salmon pieces for a more interesting poke.
Scorched and raw teriyaki poke
600g skinless salmon fillets, pin-boned (see tips)
4 spring onions, white part very finely chopped, dark green part finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp minced ginger
1⁄2 tsp shichimi togarashi or dried chilli flakes, plus extra to serve (optional)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1⁄2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
325g sushi rice, well rinsed
4 baby qukes (baby cucumbers), sliced into rounds
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1 sheet nori, shredded
Cut the salmon into 1.5cm cubes and place in a bowl. Add the white part of the spring onion, garlic, ginger, shichimi togarashi or chilli flakes, soy sauce, honey and 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil and toss until well combined. Set aside in this pimped-up teriyaki sauce to marinate for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the rice in a saucepan, add 500ml water and bring to
the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stand, without removing the lid, for 10 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Stir through the dark green part of the spring onion and the remaining sesame oil.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add half the marinated salmon and cook, turning, for 1–2 minutes or until the sides are slightly scorched. Remove from the heat.
Toss the qukes with the vinegar in a bowl.
Divide the rice among four bowls and top with the raw salmon, scorched salmon, cucumber, avocado and shredded nori. Scatter over extra shichimi togarashi or chilli flakes, if desired, and serve.
Tips: To take this dish to the next level add pickled ginger (homemade or store-bought) and a squirt of Kewpie mayonnaise, or maybe some edamame if you have them.
If buying a side of salmon, use the centre of the fillet for the raw fish, then slice off the thinner outer wings and barbecue these, as they are extra decadent.
• This is an edited extract from Yummy, Easy, Quick: Around the World by Matt Preston (Plum, $39.99). Next week, Brussels sprouts with lap cheong sausage