I’m sure you all know by now that poke is getting it’s time in the spotlight here in NYC. This healthy, simple, and delicious Hawaiian dish is literally popping up everywhere all over the city. Probably because people are realizing how easy it is; if you serve sushi you can serve poké! It has the same craveable flavors as sushi but is much more versatile and the combinations are endless. Matt and I have recently begun “cooking” poké at home because it’s quick, easy, and really good for you. I enjoyed experimenting with this Shiso Miso Salmon Poke which is less traditional than the recipes we usually make.
If you know me personally you’ve probably heard how Matt took me to a poke making class as my Christmas gift this year! If you didn’t know, you can read about it here. (By the way, it was so so so fun!). Ever since then Matt and I really enjoy recreating what we learned whenever we have a night in. A few months ago Matt came home with The Poke Cookbook by Martha Cheng as a little surprise for me (and a not-so-subtle hint that he wants me to cook more poke). It’s got some great classic recipes like Ahi Tuna and Spicy Salmon, but we’ve already cooked plenty of that and I wanted to try something non-traditional and modern, which this book is excellent for. My eyes fell on the Shiso Miso Salmon poke because I have a large container of miso in the fridge that I’d like to use, and the addition of sweet corn kernels and apples sounded fantastic.
As a disclaimer, making poke can be kind of expensive. It’s because of the type of fish you need; you basically need either sushi-grade fish or be willing to discuss with your fish monger about when the fish was caught, how fresh it is, whether it is safe to eat raw, etc. Since I’m usually in a rush I just go to the seafood section of Whole Foods and get the vacuum sealed frozen sushi-grade salmon or tuna, which is totally fine but runs about $15 per package (and you need two or three packages). But that’s really the only cost, as most other ingredients are cheap (think soy sauce, scallions, etc.)
This particular recipe called for shiso, which is apparently a type of minty/basily/fennely Asian herb. As a substitute you can use basil and mint instead if you can’t find it (which you probably can’t unless you live near an Asian grocery store). The recipe also calls for macadamia nuts, but HOLY COW the container was like $13! so I opted for Brazilian nuts instead because they’re fatty and a similar texture.
What I love about poke is that there is really no cooking involved. You just mix everything together and voila! So when I got home from the store this meal literally took 15 minutes to whip up; just chop everything up and mix well! I served this poke with brown sushi rice which made it more hearty and savory (add a tablespoon each of rice vinegar and mirin to the rice after it cooks… it’s so much better). This poke was really good, sweet, and fresh, and I definitely enjoyed it. I will admit I missed the salty umami bite of traditional poke with all the soy sauce and rice vinegar and such, but this was a refreshing alternative for someone who is bored to death with having the same type of poke all the time!
Shiso Miso Salmon Poke (serves 2-3)
- 1 lb. sushi-grade salmon, centimeter diced
- 1 cup diced Fuji apple, diced
- 1 cup fresh sweet corn (uncooked, sliced off the cob)
- 25 fresh shiso leaves (or 1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves and 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts (or Brazilian nuts or cashews), roughly chopped
- 4 tsp miso
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Make the shiso sauce by combining the shiso (or basil/mint), garlic, olive oil, miso, and lemon juice in a food processor until completely combined. Add this to a medium bowl with the salmon, nuts, apples, and corn, and fold gently until mixed. Serve right away over a bowl of steamed rice.