Last Sunday, I tried the recipe for "Ahi Poke Sliders on Mini Buns" which was featured in "Edible Hawaiian Islands Summer 2009".
I had to make my ahi poke from scratch because it doesn't exist here.
I followed this recipe, which I always use to make poke. And not thinking, added the tomato and cucumber which the recipe called for....bad move.
The "burgers" fell apart...it was a mess in the pan...edible but ugly. We ended up eating most of the poke; raw, on the side. (I put some kim chee on this slider to "hide" the damage.)
So, a couple of days later, not appreciating failure in the kitchen, I tried it again, this time leaving out the tomato and cucumber and whizzing it for a bit in the food processor (which the recipe says to do, but I hadn't the first time around).
It came out better and it was great on the rye roll with a smidge of mayo (Best Foods, of course). Add an ice cold glass of beer and you have a great dinner, lunch or snack.
Here is the recipe if you'd like to try it.
Ahi Poke Sliders on Mini Buns from Edible Hawaiian Islands Summer 2009
Makes eight 4-inch mini burgers
2 pounds fresh ahi (tuna) poke, from your favorite local fish market
3 tablespoons macadamia nut oil
8, 4-inch Portuguese sweet rolls
Place the ahi poke in the work bowl of a food processor with the metal blade and pulse until poke is ground. Don't overgrind; keep it slightly chunky. Do this in two batches.
Turn on the grill. When hot, place a large skillet on the grill with the oil and heat the pan until very hot. Cook the poke burgers on the hot pan and sear both sides. Don't overcook; center should stay rare. Place cooked poke sliders on buns and serve.
NOTES: After making the poke, I let it sit in the refridge for about an hour for the flavors to meld. I didn't use macadamia oil (I've never seen it here) and just used a non-stick pan.
Also, I couldn't find something close to Portuguese sweet rolls (which in my opinion is similar to brioche), so I used what I could find, rye rolls.
If you cook this on the stove, cook it on low heat for about 3 minutes on each side. The middle will be raw and the outside seared. If you don't like to eat things semi-raw, you may want to cook it all the way through.
This was so good, it was hard to put down once I started eating it.
on a side note: Did you know that the amount of ahi (tuna) the world eats a year is really high? (The world put together eats a lot, but apparently, Japan eats even more) So high that the experts are saying that if limits are not placed on fishing or purchasing from fishermen, tuna will be non-existent by 2010 (um, that is next year?!)
Fortunately, when I bought this tuna, it was cultivated in Yamaguchi prefecture (made in Japan). Hopefully, more of these farms will be able to answer the demand for tuna (and maybe other seafood too) and leave nature alone to repair itself.