Sunday, November 6, 2011

Black Garlic Poke


It's only about six years ago that I started to eat raw fish. I had one of those aversions like most naive eaters have when it comes to sushi. My conversion took place when I tried some fancy rolls. I still don't care much for just a piece of raw fish on a bit of rice, but I do like rolls that have a bunch of ingredients that add interesting flavors and textures. 

Eventually I ventured a little further and tried sea steak specials and finally poke. Poke means slices or cuts. As a menu item, it means raw fish that has been cubed or sliced and tossed with a few ingredients, typically onions, soy sauce, and sesame oil. I am now a poke (and ceviche) convert.


Yesterday I received my order of fermented black garlic, something I've wanted to try after first hearing about black garlic from Garrett on Vanilla Garlic. Bulbs of garlic are fermented for 40 days and then dried for a week. The result are the beautiful black cloves. Used for centuries in Asia, it's becoming a trendy food ingredient in the West. Eaten by itself, it's amazingly sweet with smokey undertones, which is why it is used in both sweet and savory dishes. 


For my first play with it as an ingredient, I decided to put it in a poke. The result was an extra dark version with just the slightest taste of mild, sweet garlic. I happen to have a thing for avocado with my poke. I like the creamy contrast of it. But it is not part of the recipe.

Black Garlic Poke

1/5 pound of sushi grade Ahi 
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 1/2 T soy sauce
2 t sesame oil
1/2 t minced ginger
1 large clove of black garlic
red pepper flakes, to taste
sea salt flakes
sesame seeds, optional


Cut the Ahi into small cubes.
Put the cubed Ahi and chopped onions into a bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Mash the black garlic into the mixture. It is soft enough that it will blend completely into the mix. Pour into the Ahi mixture and toss to coat evenly. To serve, sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt and a bit of sesame seeds as a finisher.

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