Archive for the ‘Food Porn’ Category

Poke Bowl

Posted: August 1, 2019 in America, bowl food, Fish, Food Porn
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Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

IMG_0862Just the other day, a facebook memory popped onto my timeline and catapulted me back to my Summer holiday in Hawaii, July 2018.  A simple bowl of poke (pronounced Poh-Keh) scantily covered in sriracha mayonnaise, resting on sticky sushi rice and decorated with an avocado fan. Before you ask, yes, a lot of my holiday photos tend to be about food.  

Hawaiian food history and culture in a bowl.  A simple bowl of marinated, raw yellow-fin tuna.

Hawaiian poke has become as much of a defining element of Hawaiian culture as the surf board and floral shirt.

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The history of this simple, national Hawaiian dish dates back to pre-colonial Polynesian times and was created by local fishermen.  Hawaiians fished as and when they were hungry, and the catch of the day made for the perfect meal – indigenous, sustainable and fresh.  They took what they caught that day and preserved leftovers by slicing the fish, tossing with sea salt and “ogo” fresh seaweed to create the first ‘catch of the day’ poke. Poke literally means “to slice or cut” in Hawaiian.  This rudimentary poke has evolved from reef fish to “ahi” yellow-fin tuna and a variety of seasonings to include, “pahole fern” and “kuki nut” ingredients native to the islands.  However, since first contact with Asian and Western cultures, spring onions, chillies, avocados and soy sauce have become common additions to poke.

Fish generally found in poke bowls are tuna, salmon and pacific marlin (a cousin of the swordfish).  Octopus “he’e” is another island favourite.  Substitute seafood for tofu to make it vegetarian.

Poke is everywhere in Hawaii, you can buy it at grocery stores and beach shacks.

Hawaiians usually serve poke as a starter in place of a salad but if you want to make it a more wholesome bowl, serve it over rice like the Japanese rice bowl Donburi. However, for lighter versions serve over leafy greens or a kale salad, or substitute rice for quinoa.  The possibilities are as limiting as your imagination and palate. 

The basic components of the marinade are soy sauce and sesame oil but you can get creative with the dressing.  Sriracha mayo, wasabi mayo, freshly grated ginger juice, chopped chillies in soy, Japanese yuzu and rice vinegar. 

IMPORTANT: If using raw fish AVOID lime juice in the marinade as this will ‘cook’ the fish ceviche-style. Squeeze lime juice over before serving to freshen the dish.

With the Blue-fin tuna open season due to commence on 5th August – why not land yourself some fresh tuna and try making a simple blue-fin tuna poke bowl as a healthy lunch or light dinner?  Or better still, invite friends round for a DIY Poke Bowl Party – super easy and quick to prepare for a large crowd.

To create a poke bowl, you will need to get hold of sashimi-grade tuna/salmon.  Don’t freak out, all this means is that the fresh fish has been frozen to kill off any parasites and then defrosted ready to eat safely.  If you are fortunate enough to get fresh tuna from a local fisherman that gives it to you still warm and pulsing make sure to freeze this overnight before using it the following day.

Gastrorob’s Poke BowlIMG_4102

Ingredients

200g Sashimi-grade tuna
2 Spring onions
1/4 cup Soy sauce
1/3 cup Vegetable oil
2 Tbsp Sesame oil
150g Sushi rice
1/2 Ripe avocado
1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
Fresh ginger
1 Tbsp honey
Fresh Coriander
Limes 

Method:

1st: In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, honey and grate in a thumb size piece of fresh ginger.  Chop the spring onions and add to the bowl.

2nd: Cut sashimi-grade tuna into bite-size chunks and add to the bowl.  Mix this gently and leave in the fridge for anything from 15mins to 1hour.

3rd: Use any rice you wish – I prefer using sushi rice which is slightly sweet and sticky once boiled and feels authentic but feel free to use any rice you have in your cupboard.

4th: Make the Sriracha mayonnaise by combining the sriracha sauce and mayonnaise and mixing well.  You may wish to slacken the mixture with some lime juice/water so that it’s easier to squeeze over the tuna.

5th: Plate up.  Serve the warm rice in a bowl and add the marinated tuna to the dish.  Place sliced/cubed avocado on the side and top with the green parts of spring onions and coriander.  If you have sesame seeds (white or black) these add great crunch to the dish. Chopsticks of fork – your choice.

Optional toppings are:

Screenshot 2019-08-01 at 00.06.10.pngAvocado: adding creaminess to the dish

Cucumber: for crunch

Edamame beans (steamed): for freshness and crunch

Mango: for sweetness and fruity punch

Radish: for crunch and pepperiness

Wasabi paste, pickled ginger, fresh ginger juice, chillies: for a spicy hit

Shredded nori seaweed: for greater umami and depth of flavour

Macadamia nuts (chopped): for crunch

If you love sushi as I do but can’t be bothered with the faff of rolling out maki rolls or don’t know where to even begin, take the plunge and dive into a poke bowl.

I’ve been meaning to try recreating a poke bowl since last Summer.  I am so happy with the results that I shall definitely be making this again.  I’m trying out different flavours and can’t wait to try Furikake Rice Seasoning that is being being brought to me direct from Japan! 

 

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Forget flipping! Ban boring crêpes! Give these two exciting pancakes a go this Shrove Tuesday!

 

Whilst everyone else is tossing “flat as a pancake” crêpes, lemon-soused and sprinkled in sugar or slathering Nutella with sliced bananas (all of which were sold out at the local supermarket) think different and hit the latest pancake trends this Shrove Tuesday.

Whereas past trends have been avocado/vegan pancakes and pancake art, this year, think savoury pancakes stacked with streaky bacon and drizzled with unctuous golden syrup; thank you Sabrina Ghayour.  OR if you’ve got a sweet tooth and can’t end your meal without a sweet hit try Japanese soufflé-style pancakes – an internet gourmet-isation! OMG! Simple to make and absolutely amazing to eat; like eating a cloud.

Sweetcorn griddle cakes

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These savoury griddle cakes make for a great evening meal.  They can be totally vegetarian should you wish or deck them with bacon.  Heat is totally optional as is the sweet to drizzle over – we used golden syrup which worked really well at bringing out the sweetness of the corn.  We sprinkled some paprika over to add subtle warmth but chilli jam, sweet chilli sauce, sriracha or dried chilli flakes will work just as well.

Ingredients:

3 spring onions thinly sliced

1 large can sweetcorn drained (or 2 roasted corn on the cob)

150g feta cheese

1/2 bunch coriander

2 eggs

100ml milk

60g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 packet streaky bacon

oil for frying

optional: dried chili flakes, maple syrup, honey, chilli sauce

Method:

1st: Preheat the oven to 200ºC.  Place the bacon rashers onto an oven tray and bake until crispy.  Drain onto kitchen towel and reduce the heat to 100ºC.

2nd: In a large bowl mix the sliced spring onions, the can of drained sweetcorn, roughly chopped coriander and crumble the feta cheese in.  Add the flour and baking powder.  If using chilli flakes, add these now.  Season to taste but be careful as the feta and bacon will be salty.

3rd: Mix the eggs and milk together and stir into the dry ingredients. 

4th Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat with a splash of oil and spoon heaped spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan.  Fry in batches until golden brown on both sides and keep warm in a low oven whilst you cook the rest of them.

5th: Serve stacked with the bacon rashers balanced between them and drizzled with maple syrup, honey or chilli sauce.

Japanese Souffléd


Pancakes

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Begone crêpes! Flipping pancakes is a thing of the past as people turn to wobbling instead of tossing.  These super fluffy pancakes made with whisked egg white and cooked within a metal ring are twice the thickness of American-style pancakes but are extremely light in texture and wobble in a similar fashion to a soufflé.

Ingredients:

5 tbsp plain flour

1½ tbsp milk

1 tbsp melted unsalted butter

½ tsp vanilla extract

2½ tbsp caster sugar

2 large eggs; separated

¼ tsp cream of tartar or a few drops of lemon juice

Method:

1st: In a bowl, add milk, melted butter, vanilla extract and egg yolks.  Mix well.

2nd: Sift in the flour and gently fold in.

3rd: Add the egg whites and the cream of tartar (or lemon juice) to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk for 5 mins before adding the sugar.  Whisk until the meringue holds its form and you can turn the bowl upside down and the meringue will not slide out.

4th: Scoop out ⅓ of the meringue and add to the egg yolk batter.  Once this is full incorporated, add the remaining ⅔ of the meringue and fold this in gently until everything is a pale yellow and there are no visible white streaks.

5th: Either add butter or use oil spray to the inside of the ring moulds and the griddle / frying pan.  Heat the pan to a low/medium heat and fill the mould ½ the way up.  Add a tsp of water to the pan and close the lid.  I used an upturned pan to create a dome.  Cook for 4-5mins.

6th: When you see the pancakes have risen to the rim of the mould, they are ready to turn over.  Do this with a spatula and take care.  Add a teaspoon of water to the pan and cover for another 3-4 mins until the pancakes are cooked and golden brown on both sides.

7th: Gently, remove the pancakes from their mould.  Serve these warm with any topping of your choice.

Pancake gourmet-isation!

 

 

 

 

IMG-9263These are the sort of thing that you snack on quite easily without realising how many tails you are unashamedly stacking on the side of your plate!  Don’t be fooled, this is nothing like the whiff of Hawaiian Tropic sun lotion nor is it dessert-sweet – just a delicious morsel of crispy fried prawn with a tropical twist.  Actually, this would be perfect with pineapple rice on the side as a main dish.

1Kg of prawns easily serves 4 as a part of a mezze style table, however, depending on appetites depends on whether you’ll be fighting over the last prawn or calling it quits before sneakily stealing one last one before dessert.

Ingredients:

1Kg of uncooked grey prawns

1/2 cup of plain flour (all purpose)

1/2 tspn salt

1/4 tspn garlic salt

2 egg whites

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 cup dessicated coconut

Method:

1st: Remove the shell off the prawns leaving the tails in tact.  Devein the prawns and butterfly them.  Press down on the prawn using the back of a knife to flatten the prawn.

2nd: In one bowl mix the flour, salt and garlic salt.  In another whisk the egg whites and in a third bowl mix the panko breadcrumbs with the dessicated coconut.

3rd: Hold the prawn by its tail, and dredge it first through the flour mixture, then the egg whites and then the panko breadcrumb mixture.

4th: Place on a baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 30mins to an hour.

5th: Fry by your chosen method.  When shallow frying keep an eye on the colour of the oil and change as necessary.  Drain on kitchen paper

6th: Serve with chilli jam to dip the prawns in or a spritz of lime, or pineapple rice.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. would be happy to serve these in their restaurants!

 

This is the ultimate in food porn.  Scoop it straight out of the jar with your finger, spread it on toast, bread, crackers, cold cuts, cheese, a generous tablespoon stirred through spaghetti…

Ingredients:

500g Cooking Chorizo

1 large white onion finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

85g light muscovado sugar

3 tbsp Sherry vinegar

2 tbsp maple syrup

100mls strong black coffee