Saturday | April 30, 2016
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Let’s Talk Food: Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest winners

The Annual Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest was held in mid-March with a new division, Hamakua mushroom poke!

A familiar winner in the Professional Division, Traditional Poke was Nakoa Padre of Umeke’s, second went to Wade Tamura of Facebook, and third place to Robin Ganir of Broke Da Mouth.

Peter Kaluna of Hilo, who works at University of Hawaii Dining Services won first in the Professional, Cooked Division with this poke:

Cooked Poke

Peter Kaluna

Mix together:

4 pounds spiny lobster meat, cooked

1 pound lightly smoked tako (octopus)

1 pound shelled opihi

4 pounds diced ahi tuna

2 cups kowau (fish eggs, large)

1 pound Maui onions, diced

2 pounds sea asparagus, chopped

1 cup inamona (toasted kukui nut)

1 pound garlic chives

1 pound opae, cooked

1/4 pound finger limes*, squeezed out

6 chili peppers, minced

Alae salt to taste


George Gomes of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel won second place in the Professional Cooked division.

In the new category, poke with Hamakua Mushrooms, George Gomes of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel won first place, Troy Cataraha of Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai won second and Robin Ganir of Broke Da Mouth won third place.

Hamakua Abalone Mushroom Poke

Executive Chef George Gomes Jr.

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl:

4 pounds diced Hamakua abalone mushrooms

2 pounds fresh Kona Baby Abalone (blanched and diced)

1 cup finely chopped green onion

1 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves

1/2 cup toasted macadamia nuts

2 tablespoons inamona (toasted kukui nut)

1/2 cup blanched sea asparagus

1/2 cup green ogo, chopped

4 tablespoon wasabi tobiko

2 tablespoons Molokai Bamboo Jade Sea Salt

4 tablespoons lime juice

4 each minced Hawaiian chili pepper

Season and taste poke.

Heat until smoking:

3/4 cup peanut oil

Pour over poke and mix well.

Place in abalone shells and top with:

1 cup kiawe smoked brown ogo


In the Professional Division, using Aloha Shoyu, first place went to Robin Ganir of Broke da Mouth and second to Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s.

No. 1 Tangy

Garlic Soy Furikake Ahi Poke

Chef Robin Ganir

Poke Mix:

Mix together:

1 pound fresh ahi and/or fresh ono, cut into small cubes

2 ounces chopped avocado

Squeeze of calamansi limes

Hawaiian salt to taste

Dissolve and add to above:

1 tablespoon Aloha Shoyu

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

Pinch furikake

Pinch julienne sweet onions

Base: (Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Salad)

2 large purple sweet potatoes, steamed and chilled

1 small russet potato, steamed and chilled

1 hard cooked egg, minced and chilled

Salt and pepper to taste

2 ounces mayonnaise

Make an aioli sauce with egg yolks, oil, sat, pepper and vinegar (but recipe not given) add chili to taste.

No other instructions are given, but I would have to assume that you place the poke on the crostini and drizzle the aioli sauce over as crostini is included in the ingredient list. The purple sweet potato salad must be served on the side.


In the non-seafood Professional Division, Paul Muranaka of King Kamaehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel won first place and second went to Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s.

Kila Pablo’s Tripe Poke

Chef Paul Muranaka

Cook in boiling water until soft, cook and slice thinly:

1 pond local honeycomb tripe

Add to tripe and refrigerate one hour before serving:

1 cup local cherry tomatoes

1 round onions diced

2 bunch green onions, chopped

2 tablespoons Chinese parsley, chopped

1/4 cup Aloha Shoyu

1 tablespoons pure sesame oil

2 local limes

1 Hawaiian chili pepper, chopped

1/2 cup Keahole brown ogo, chopped


In the non-professional division, traditional poke, first went to Ryan Koyanagi, second to Chuck Okazaki, and third to Pono Bintliff. Poke using Aloha Shoyu, first went to Keauhou Canoe Boys #1, second to Shane Lee, and third to Cal Haena. In the non-prfessional, non-seafood category, Punana Leo Team No. 2 won first. Tori Koyanagi won first in the poke with Hamakua Mushrooms and in the high school division, traditional went to Konawaena No. 304, cooked to Kealekehe No 302, and poke with Aloha Shoyu to Kealekehe No. 301.

Small Bites

Finger limes are the most amazing fruit I have seen. Paradise Plants sells them for $40 a pound, when available. Cut the small lime in half and squeeze out the inside, the insides look like caviar. When eaten, there is a snap to it, with the wonderful taste of lime.

Food Bites

The Hawaii Community College’s Hilo Classic Food Show is Friday. The Cafeteria and Bamboo Hale are closed so the students can prepare for Friday’s competition. Tickets are available by calling 934-2591.

The Rotary Club of South Hilo’s 10th Annual Hilo Huli is a month away. Members of the club have tickets and will be happy to sell them to you. Realtor Arabel Camblor, ER nurse Cindy Drummond, Paul Feng of HOPACO, and Brenda Ho and An Umamoto of Hospice of Hilo will be happy to sell your tickets.

Please feel free to email me at if you have a question. Bon appetit until next week.


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