We are coming to the end of the Summer holidays and the hungry teens go back to school this week. Not that I am counting down, but it’s been 9 1/2 weeks of trying to curb their ‘boredom’, satisfy their constant hunger, monitor the amount of screen time and zombie killing, as well as trying to stress the importance of taking time out to relax. For the first time I’ve taken the plunge and left them home alone whilst I’m at work, leaving them to sort out their own social engagements and basically entertain themselves. I’ve had to fight the urge to monitor their every move, and there are battles which i’ve given up fighting – at least for now. I have filled my fridge at least twice a week and am amazed at just how much food they manage to go through in a day – breakfast and lunch merge into one, and quite often the asian pot noodles are followed by an omelette, cheese on toast or a pizza/pasta ready meal. However, they also go ‘off piste’ and cook their own embellishing whatever I have let out. The mess and general level of grubinesss when i get home can be quite demoralising, but I am also pleased that they are gaining independence, and have realised that ready meals and fast food aren’t the only alternative and sometimes need combining with other things.
It was one of these evenings that we decided to have Poke – limited actual cooking, but so delicious and packed full of flavour. Poke is one of the food trends of the moment, originating in Hawaii and now found in street food stalls and poke bars across London and beyond. I love the fresh zingy flavours – that Asian umami of sweet/sour/salty/spicy with fresh fish. This is one of our favourite meals at home, but it is dependant on me sourcing the very best tuna. It also turned out to be a treat for my new little kitten – just a small cube to taste! The tuna came from the fish counter at Waitrose – I bought a 300g slice which is perfect for 2 as a main course. I served it with steamed white short grain rice – a little stickier and more ‘Japanese’ than my normal Basmati. I would have used brown rice, but I had run out of it. You could exchange Salmon or a firm white fish such as halibut for the tuna. You can take out the Wakame if you don’t have it, and whilst i feel avocado is a must have, you can take it out, and play with other flavours such as fresh mango or cucumber. You can also be bold with your seasoning depending on whether you are serving it with rice, or having it ceviche style as a starter. Be creative…. if your fish is fresh, the flavours will enhance it and you will end up with a punchy taste bowl of goodness.
Poke (pronounced Pok-eh) Serves 2
300gSlice of tuna fillet (nice deep red with no sinew) – cut into cubes (see photograph)
2 Tbs Light soy
2 Tbs Ponzu (citrus flavoured soy)
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds
1 red or green chilli – finely chopped
3 spring onions – finely chopped
Handful of coriander – finely chopped
1 Avocado – cut into small cubes
To serve – 2 small bowls of cooked white or brown short grain or standard rice