Sunday Family Dinner

A Late Family Dinner Recap….and Where I’m Currently At

September 2016
Ok gang, I know I’ve been MIA lately and I’m long overdue to recap our last Family Dinner.

The delay started with me misplacing the SD card with all the photos I took from dinner. Don’t ask….no clue where it is. But how does a food blogger publish a post without food pics?? Yes, between the sibs and I, we had snapped some on our phones but I was determined to find that freaking memory card. But—-I didn’t. So then I started drafting the post using the pics from our phones.

And then last Tuesday happened.

I generally haven’t used this space to discuss things other than food. But the truth of the matter is, I am shaken to my core. It wasn’t just an election. It’s that the outcomes have supported a movement to lead by instilling fear and panic, to further widen the gap between gender equity, to continue to target those of historically marginalized races and religions and to regress not progress. It’s not a question of political parties but of basic human decency. I’m heartbroken, angry, frustrated, tired–and quite frankly, I’m afraid. Why? Because I’m a person of color, daughter of refugee parents, advocate of marriage equality, non-Christian, and a woman who believes that I alone should be the one who should make decisions regarding my health and body. I am the embodiment of everything that the new majority “leadership” has fought against.

What now? So where do my beliefs and I belong come 2017? Where do we start again? How can we keep up the strength and fight?

It’s these questions that have me deeply troubled and walking in a daze this past 10 days. It’s been difficult to focus in the office and even harder to get things in order for the whirlwind of family activities I’m about to embark on for the next 9 days. 9 days that include my cousin’s wedding, 2 family dinners, Thanksgiving, and lots and LOTS of time with the nieces and nephews.

September 2016
Yes, you read correctly–that’s two family dinners that are scheduled. We wanted to take advantage of the time since all five siblings would be in town for our cousin’s wedding. As hectic and chaotic that I know it’ll be, I need it. I think that lots of time with my siblings and their fam while we cook will do us some good. And as much as I hurt, I need to still be me and do what I do–even if it’s a bit clunky for now.

So here’s that recap of our last Family Dinner I owe you.

September 2016
Thanks to R’s fresh yellowfin catch, we made Shoyu Poke and my niece–Nini, made her infamous Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls.

September 2016
Sis N took on the main course– Tamarind Dungeness Crab.

September 2016
L made stir-fried Garlic-Lemon Broccolini to give us some greens.

September 2016
T made Garlic Noodles and the Soju Cocktails.

September 2016
And lastly, for dessert, I made the Mango-Macadamia Nut Cheesecake.

September 2016
Gang, I know this isn’t my normal kind of post—far from it. But to write in my “normal” tone would feel disingenuous. And quite frankly, we need less of that in the world. So thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts.

And until next time, let me leave you with a picture of this fedorable face….she’s been my steadfast cuddler and best comfort of late.

Fedorable

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This Month’s Family Dinner Menu

Cocktails:  Grapefruit Soju Cocktails
Appetizers: Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls, Shoyu Poke
Entrees: Tamarind Dungeness Crab
Sides: Garlic Noodles, Lemon Garlic Broccolini
Dessert: Mango-Macadamia Nut Cheesecake

Seafood

Ahi Shōyu Pokē

Ahi Poke

Happy Aloha Friday, Folks!!!!

Seester brought it to my attention that I have yet to post a recipe for  my ahi pokē –well, any kind of pokē for that matter. Which is actually kind of surprising since I’m kind of a Pokē Monster….and no, that’s not my Pokémon name.

Just consider the delay a sign of my Island Time …….

But what better time than now as it is Aloha Friday and it’s almost pau hana!

Ahi Poke

First things first….

Hawaiian Pokē is pronounced POH-keh.

Rhymes with crochet.

And is not POH-kee because that’s just hokey.

Get it? Got it? Good.

Ahi Poke

Pokē is the Hawaiian take on a seafood “salad” usually consisting of raw seafood —though there are some variations with cooked proteins as well. While in Hawai’i, I eat it by the pounds…DAILY. And if you’re ever there and you don’t–well, you’re just missing out….big time. Particularly since the seafood is so darn fresh there and plentiful!

One of my fav thing to do while on the islands?

Grab a cooler filled with ice and run to the nearest Foodland or other local grocery store where there are Pokē Counters!  Rows and rows of fresh pokē of all different types that are so affordable—averaging $8-$12 per pound when I was last there. Once you’ve got your tubs of fresh pokē in your cooler with some Hawaiian Suns and adult beverages, plop yourself down at a nearby beach and Live A’loha.

Perfection.

Ahi Poke

Luckily for us, the love of pokē has finally caught on in the mainland as there’s been a surge of pokē shops springing up in SoCal for us to get our fix in.

But don’t fret if there’s not a pokē shop nearby because the standard ahi pokē is really easy to make at home as long as you know of a trusted fishmonger or have a grocery that has sashimi-grade fish on hand.

Ahi Poke

Ahi Pokē is often referenced as “ahi shōyu pokē” as it is flavored with Japanese soy sauce {shōyu}. There are many different variations but at minimum, it typically consist of ahishōyu, onions, sesame oil, and some type of seaweed. Many folks like to also add Hawaiian chili peppers and macadamia nuts, too.

The recipe below is my standard go-to but sometimes I’ll swap out the ahi for yellowtail and throw in some avocados for extra richness and gochugaru (Korean chili powder) for a kick. As with anything, you can add or omit to suit your fancy but be sure to use sashimi-grade fish. I also like to use a marinated akame (sea kelp) that I pick up in the refrigerated section of my local Japanese grocery store. But ogo (also known as ogoniri) can be a bit easier to find at Asian grocery stores (or online) as it’s often sold dried.
Ahi Poke

I tend to serve my pokē as an appetizer with noriten – seaweed tempura chips. But it’s equally as onolicious in sushi rolls or pokē bowls

But I warn you, this pokē is always a hit–even with the munchkins (ours inhale it!), so make a big batch!

A’lohas... ❤

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Ahi Shōyu Pokē 

Ingredients:

1 pound sashimi-grade ahi
¼ cup finely minced shallots or Maui sweet onion
¼ cup chopped scallions
2 heaping tablespoons minced marinated arame or ogo
¼ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
2½ tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, more to taste
½ tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Using a very sharp knife, dice the ahi into 1/3 – ½ inch cubes. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the shallots, scallions, arame, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Once chilled, stir the pokē and taste. Add additional sea salt and soy sauce as needed. Sprinkle the fish with toasted sesame seeds and serve.

For pokē bowls, divide the pokē into 2 portions and serve on top of bowls of steamed rice. Top bowls with additional items such as gari, avocado slices, tobiko, pickled cucumbers, and nori strips. For an appetizer, serve the pokē with tortilla chips or noriten chips.

Seafood

Chirashizushi {Chirashi} – Fresh Sashimi Rice Bowls

Chirashizushi

Oh Chirashizushi….how do I love thee?

Fresh fish, veggies, pickled ginger, wasabi and perfectly cooked sushi rice—-all mixed up in a bowl. Chirashizushi (ちらし寿司) or chirashi, translates to “scattered” which is one of the beauties about this dish.

Perfection.

As much as I love sushi rolls and nigiris, this gal can get terribly lazy sometimes. So to be able to throw all the ingredients that I love in sushi into one bowl is just genius.

And delicious.

Chirashizushi

I had been up at my seester’s place one weekend when we decided to pop into a local fishmonger we had discovered some time ago– Dry Dock Fish Company. It’s a smaller little shop, tucked away in Fullerton. But if you’re in the area, you must check it out because it’s an absolute gem.

Chirashizushi

I contemplated writing out a recipe for chirashi but I felt kind of silly doing it.

Make-at-home chirashi is all about using whatever types of fish that tickles your fancy. The chirashi pictured above has slices of ahi, hamachi, salmon, spoonfuls of ahi shoyu poke that I whipped up, avocado slices, lemon slices, lightly pickled Persian cucumbers, wasabi paste, scallions, gari (pickled young ginger), yuzu kosho (yuzu paste), nori crackers, and of course–sushi rice.

But again, chirashi can be anything you’d like my Friends. Just be sure to use sashimi grade fish ❤

Happy Saturday!!!