Ahipalaha (White Tuna) Poke

This tuna poke uses ahipalaha, a more responsible alternative to bluefin, tossed in a lemon aioli. Serve on its own or get creative and turn it into a bowl.

Courtesy Ed Kenney, chef/owner, Mahina and Sun’s, Honolulu

At the new Mahina and Sun’s, Kenney, who also owns Town Restaurant, Mud Hen Water and Kaimuki Superette, serves home cooking with his trademark obsession for local and sustainable ingredients. Unlike most other poke purveyors, he doesn’t currently serve bluefin tuna since it’s not recommended by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, which monitors farmed and wild seafood for environmental impact. Instead, he uses a’u (marlin) or ahipalaha (white tuna) for responsible, delicious alternatives.

Kenney garnishes his white tuna poke with nori (toasted seaweed), inamona (a roasted kukui-nut condiment) and crispy fried onions. To make a poke bowl, serve over rice or greens with sliced avocado, kimchi, pickled mushrooms and steamed kale.

Eating and Drinking Through Honolulu
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons lemon aioli (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ sweet onion, like Maui, Vidalia or Walla Walla, very thinly sliced
  • 1 pound white tuna, cut into ¾-inch cubes
Directions

Whisk aioli, sriracha, sesame oil and soy sauce in large bowl. Mix in onion. Add tuna and toss until well coated. Add more sriracha, sesame oil, and/or soy sauce, to taste. Serves 4–6

Lemon Aioli Ingredients
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Lemon Aioli Directions

Place all ingredients except olive oil in blender. Process until combined. As blender runs, add oil in very thin stream to emulsify. Finished mixture should look like mayonnaise. Set aside.

Pair It

Styring 2014 Whimsy Estate Riesling (Ribbon Ridge); $20, 95 points. This lively wine’s bright acidity matches the freshness of the fish. Luscious fruit flavors of melon, peach and apple help round out the rich, spicy flavors of Kenney’s poke. Cellar Selection.

Published on January 11, 2018
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net



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