Spicy Ahi Poke with Sriracha -or- What to do with 50 Pounds of Fresh Tuna?

The Husband went fishing this weekend, and his share of the catch was more than 50 pounds of the tuna they caught. My freezer is full to overflowing, I’m contacting all the neighbors, and searching the web for ahi recipes.

Tonight we tried a different recipe for Poke, and we all loved it. Poke is a Hawaiian dish using fresh fish- usually ahi (yellow fin tuna), and often is mixed with seaweed, chopped sweet or green onion and different sauces, like soy sauce. Poke is often compared to ceviche… but I really like poke better. There is something about the soy sauce and sesame flavors that rock this dish.

Tonight we tried a simple recipe of ahi, Sriracha mayonnaise, tobiko (flying fish roe… the tiny orange eggs you find at the sushi bar), and sliced green onion. I think it could have used a shot of soy sauce and few drops of sesame oil, but this was really great!

This is the recipe The Husband found on which we based our concoction-

Spicy Ahi Poke
Spicy Ahi Poke… photo from TwoRedBowls.com

Click the photo to link to the recipe from TwoRedBowls.com where the blogger has a great explanation of what poke is. Besides dee-lish.

Now… what to do with the other 48 pounds of fish. Suggestions, please!!

New Tricks with Old Friends- Aqua Hiking and Kung Pao Calamari (Bonus! Make a Friend Try Ahi Poke)

Friends visiting us from out of town? A visit to Torrey Pines is mandatory.

Torrey Pines State Preserve this Friday… so lovely:

Stunning blue sky, green pines, and red cliffs, two days ago...
Stunning blue sky, green pines, and red cliffs, two days ago…

Southern California is experiencing a severe drought right now. So, when the friends from Indiana are visiting, what do we get for the weather? Two days of steady rain thanks to Hurricane Dolores. I didn’t snap any pictures of the ominous grey and black clouds as they rushed up on us, but did find this lovely photo online. Imagine the fog like this… just coming down in buckets:

This is the closest photo I could come up with- Torrey Pines in the fog... (photo credit to andrewharper.com)
This is the closest photo I could come up with- Torrey Pines in the fog… (photo credit to andrewharper.com)

Our hike today started with clear skies, but by mid-morning, the hurricane bands started coming up from the south. And fast. By the time we started the return hike, the skies opened up and we enjoyed (!?!) the rest of the walk along the water’s edge and the base of the cliffs in the pouring rain. At least we had the warm rain and beach to walk along!

Very VERY wet hikers make it to the car...
Very VERY wet hikers make it to the car…

By the time we made it back to the car we were soaked to the skin. I amazed that we managed to keep the cameras and phones dry. The hair dryers and styling products were a waste of time this morning. We looked (and felt) like we had jumped in a pool.

We finished the evening at a favorite fish restaurant, Bay Park Fish Company, where we talked two of the most unlikely of diners to try ahi poke- they didn’t die nor did they hate it! I had to try something new to eat since hiking in a total downpour wasn’t good enough for my New Thing o’ the Day. Kung Pao Calamari- yum. It is on the appetizer list, but with a side of rice, voilà- dinner.

Here you go, Scott, proof of your wife trying the ahi poke:

OHMYGOSH DEBBIE IS EATING RAW FISH!!!
OHMYGOSH DEBBIE IS EATING RAW FISH!!!
Kung Pao Calamari with a side of rice- delish.
Kung Pao Calamari with a side of rice- delish.

The Upshot: Half the Family = Half the Bill

Plans for a nice family dinner at a favorite Japanese restaurant just didn’t materialize in the way I had hoped for.  I haven’t seen the teens much lately, which sometimes is NOT a bad thing- am I right, fellow moms of teens??? However, I do enjoy these people an overwhelming majority of the time. There are subjects to cover, jokes to hear, stories to catch up on that you can’t hear in the fifteen minutes you see them in the morning before they dash out the door, or pry out of them as they are poring over their studies.

We try really hard to sit down together at dinner every day of the week… by “we try,” it’s really “I try.” All this effort results in maybe three family dinners per week. With fencing, guitar, theater, church leadership, Academic Decathlon, and sneaky Netflix binging, (and this is just The Teens) I feel like I have to out-plan everyone in order to bring us together on a regular basis. That should be a college course for parents! “Family Togetherness 101: Stealthy and Inconspicuous Planning and Gathering- Techniques and Practices Explained.”

No le gusta el atún. Pobrecito.
No le gusta el atún. Pobrecito. Part of the the catch of the day last July. It was Poke City here. Click the pic for a recipe similar to ours
Further evidence of how deep his distaste for fish runs..
Further evidence of how deep his distaste for tuna runs…

It is probably a good thing that The Teens stayed home… one doesn’t like sushi or any fish for that matter, the other racks up quite a bill. We had half the usual bill by leaving half the family at home. Look at The Boy. He’s not kidding. This is the poster child for Mac N Cheese. And fillet mignon. His tastes run amok.

Hamachi (Yellowtail) Sashimi, caught that morning- click for a great poke recipe
Hamachi (Yellowtail) Sashimi, caught that morning

My favorite selections for sushi are always salmon and yellowtail nigiri. Tuna used to be a top choice, but we are extremely fortunate to catch our own on a friend’s boat or receive some of his haul and we have a freezer full of ahi. It. Is. HEAVEN!!

Tobiko and Scallop...
Tobiko and Scallop…

So, we lost the teens and instead were able to have a nice dinner date with just the two of us. Not a bad consolation prize, huh?! Where The Girl was going to have carte blanche with the sushi menu and do the choosing for me, in hindsight, maybe it is a good thing that she wasn’t there? Hmmm… hadn’t thought of that. Who knows what she would have tried to get me to eat? (*shudder*)

The Husband got to choose instead, and we ended up splitting orders of scallop nigiri and tobiko. Holy Yum. The scallops, especially, they were so sweet! I thought that shellfish would be on the tough side if prepared raw, since I’ve only had giant clam sushi… I don’t recommend it. Our favorite little neighborhood sushi joint prepares the scallops with a very light dressing, probably mayo based- I loved it, and so did the mayonnaise-hating husband. And I really did like the tobiko, too. Fresh and ocean-y tasting, lots of fun, salty popping going on, and very yummy.