Poke and Stuffed Moi…

Hawaii is no doubt a spectacular place to live if you like seafood.  With hundreds of miles of fish-filled water surrounding the state, it’s a fish lover’s paradise.  One local dish favored by these lovers is poke (po-kay).  In its basic form, it’s raw fish seasoned with soy sauce and seaweed.  From there people take the variations to the limit.

Most people prefer to use Ahi (or Bigeye tuna) for poke.  I prefer to use Aku (or Skipjack tuna) because it has more of the ocean taste, that fishy salty flavor.  Either one will do fine for poke.  I used Ahi this time because the fish market I always go to didn’t have any Aku.  Apparently the water has been rough so fishermen haven’t been going out as often as usual.

I used a pound of Ahi and I put a sample amount of the seaweed I’m using, Ogo.  There are many different types of seaweeds that can be used.  I like Ogo for the crunchy texture.

Okay, so the appetizer’s down but what’s for dinner? Well the market had some fresh Moi (or Pacific Threadfin) which I love.  It’s tender and buttery flesh goes very well with a soy-based sauce.  Since I had poke, I decided to stuf the Moi with shrimp and top it all off with a soy ginger sauce.

Oh yes, little man, you.  Don’t worry though, I have two of your friends as well *sinister laugh*.

Already cleaned, I removed the backbone of the fish by cutting into the back on both sides of the top fin and using kitchen shears to cut out the bone.

This will be our stuffing pocket for the shrimp.  I’m steaming the fish because that’s the purest way to cook a fish and enjoy the natural flavor of it.  I enjoy pan searing and roasting as much as the next guy, but steaming will go better with our dinner selection.

Using a double level steamer, I lay Choy Sum and asparagus in the bottom tray and Pak Choy on the top layer.  The fish will lay on the Pak Choy and all the vegetables will help keep the fish moist.  What goes better with steamed fish than steamed veggies?

With the extra shrimp stuffing (because my moi were small), I made a stir fry with tofu and mushrooms

20 minutes of steaming later…

They fall apart if you don’t pick the whole fish up…now that’s tender baby!

Another thing I’ve been doing out of experimentation is flavoring the water in the steamer.  I put a few dashes of soy sauce, a pinch of ground ginger, and chili pepper flakes in the water.  It seasons the fish a bit more as it steams.  It also flavors the veggies a bit since they are plain.


1 lb fresh good grade tuna, chopped smal
handful of seaweed
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 or 4 stalks green onion, finely sliced
1 T sesame oil
1/2 T sesame seeds
pinch of garlic powder

Combine fish and seaweed.  Combine other ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust for personal preference.  Pour over fish and stir until combined, but don’t beat the fish too much.  Set in fridge for at least an hour before eating.  It also tastes great the next day.

Shrimp Stuffed Moi

1/2 lb shrimp, finely chopped
4 or 5 water chestnuts, diced
3 stalks green onion, finely chopped
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper
1 t sesame oil
1/2 T cornstarch
3 fresh moi (1 lb each), scaled and cleaned
2 T julienned green onion
1 T fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
pinch of sesame seeds
Choy sum
Pak Choy

In a small bowl, combine first seven ingredients (shrimp to salt and pepper).  Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Meanwhile, prepare moi by making incisions into the fish from the back on both sides of the dorsal fin.  Try to get cuts as close as possible to get the most amount of meat from the fish. Use kitchen shears to cut out the backbone and throw away.

Stuff the moi with the shrimp mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Lay vegetables down to make a bed for the fish.  Steam for 20 minutes or until flesh flakes easily with fork.

Combine soy sauce, 1 T sesame oil, sesame seeds, green onion and ginger.  Pour over fish as soon as you place it on a platter.

*next up… filet mignon with balsamic glaze…*


2 Responses

  1. How’d u steam your fish? Do you have an actual steamer? Or did u go with the boiling water with a large plate over it…or the metal basket thing. It’d help to know because steaming is an awesome way to cook things.

  2. I have the chinese style metal steamer. The bottom bowl has the water, there are two removable perforated sections and a cover. here’s an example:

    And yes steaming everything is a great way to cook. It’s fast and you get the natural flavors of the food

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