the appetizer:

Check out the international recipes from Top Chef: The Cookbook by Bravo Media, including Moroccan Cubanos; Ecuadorian Ceviche with Popcorn Cakes; and Hamachi Poke with Pineapple Poi and Taro Chips.



Hamachi Poke
with Pineapple Poi and Taro Chips

Hamachi Poke

  • Chef: Marcel
  • Season 2, Episode 12
  • Quickfire Challenge: Rethink two classic Hawaiian dishes.
  • 50 minutes, plus marinating 1 hour
  • Serves 6
  • Winner
What Are Poke and Poi?

Poke (pronounced "PO-keh") is a Hawaiian fish salad, usually raw, served as an appetizer.

Poi (pronounced "POY") is traditionally made of taro root cooked and pounded to a sticky paste. Here the "poi" is made with pineapple, with xanthan gum giving it its sticky quality, and the taro is made into a chip served alongside.


Hamachi Poke

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Maui or other white onion
  • Sea salt (preferably Hawaiian)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound sashimi-grade hamachi (yellowtail), skin and excess fat
         removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (to yield about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped sea beans

Pineapple Poi

  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 4 cups fresh pineapple chunks

Taro Chips

  • 1 small taro root
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt

For the Hamachi Poke:

1. In a medium nonreactive bowl, combine the oil, sake, mirin, lemon juice, ginger, and onion. Whisk together. Season with salt and pepper to taste (keeping in mind that the sea beans will be salty).

2. Add the hamachi and sea beans. Gently toss with a rubber spatula to completely coat the fish and sea beans with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour for the flavors to combine while you make the pineapple poi and taro chips.

For the Pineapple Poi:

I. Place 1/4 cup water in a blender, followed by the xanthan gum. Add the pineapple chunks and blend on high speed until the pineapple is pureed and the mixture is smooth with a slightly sticky consistency.

2. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Taro Chips:

1. Peel the taro root and slice very thinly with a sharp knife or mandoline. Place the slices in a large bowl of cold water to keep them from discoloring.

2. In a large heavy pot, heat about 3 inches of oil to 350°F.

3. Drain the taro slices and pat dry completely. Add the slices to the hot oil in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry until crisp and lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt. Cool completely before serving.

To Serve:

Place large spoonfuls of the pineapple poi on serving dishes. Using a slotted spoon, ladle the hamachi poke over the pineapple and sprinkle with sea salt. Place a couple of taro chips alongside.

  • from:
    Top Chef: The Cookbook
  • by Bravo Media with Tom Colicchio
  • Bravo Media 2008
  • 256 pages; $29.95; hardcover
  • ISBN-10: 0811864308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-8118-6430-5
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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