Bizarre Foods America stopped once again in Hawaii.
It is a state known for many things, but its poke is an indigenous treat. It's fast food according to Zimmern but its basic elements can be dressed up to shine at gourmet shops.
Traditionally, poke is made from fish meat that is skinless and boneless and spiced up with condiments.
In modern Hawaiian cuisine, poke is more influenced by Asian cuisines and can be described as a Hawaiian fish tartare.
In Los Angeles at the popular restaurant Poke' Poke' it is also described as "Surfers Sashimi".
In its simplest form, poke is fresh Ahi tuna (Ahi is the most popular tuna variety to use) mixed with onion and tasty veggies and seasoning, like a salad.
In Hawaii, poke is sold at roadside convenience stores, but with some imagination and ingredients can be served at A-list parties.
On Bizarre Foods America, host Andrew Zimmern, a known man of the people, visited one such establishment.
At Alicia's Market , a small convenience store in a non-tourist area of Honolulu, the most popular variety of poke is made with flying fish roe and tuna mixed with among other things, imitation wasabi powder and seaweed.
Traveling out of Honolulu to what is called Winward Oahu Zimmern found a small store namedTersty Treats Fish Market. See video posted below.
Poke both traditional and more modern is made there in a variety of ways.
One variety of poke, named Lomioio sells for $11.95 a pound and it begins with eel meat.
Zimmern observed as the cooks began by scraping off the skin, then setting about squeezing the fish pieces. It looks a lot like kneading bread dough and the process can take up to an hour to eliminate all bones, skin and scales.
After it is nicely mushy, green and white onions along with tomatoes are chopped and included in with the eel meat. Some paprika, sesame seeds and chili paste get added by hand and the mixing continues.
Once finished, it is a melt in your mouth combination that has no fish texture to it.
Zimmern called it a, "...raw fish salad put through a sieve. Texturally it feels like raw bananas and it's got the flavor of a fish with a strong sesame taste. The sesame-scallion flavor makes it."
It was one of the many stops made during the episode "Undiscovered Hawaii". For more, go to the show's website at travelchannel.com
Image: Travel Channel, Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern