Every octopus has 8 legs. Use one wisely with this tako poke recipe that will knock your socks off with traditional Japanese flavors.
What is Tako Poke?
Tako is the Japanese word for octopus. Poke is the classic Hawaiian dish consisting of chopped fish with light seasoning, usually seaweed, onion, and salt.
For some reason, you don’t hear the term Octopus Poke very much, but this is found in many a Hawaiian grocery delis as Tako Poke.
Where do you find octopus?
Unless you’re in Hawaii, tako poke can be hard to find. In Hawaii, you can walk into just about any deli counter in the grocery store and see hotel pans filled with various types of chopped fish pokes sold by the pound.
In terms of finding octopus, you will typically find tentacles for sale already cooked in Japanese supermarkets. Even when I worked in restaurants, we would buy the octopus from the seafood vendor already cooked, since it take several hours to simmer in a pot to make the octopus tender.
This is a nontraditional tako poke recipe that uses traditional Japanese ingredients.
- Octopus – you can find already cooked octopus tentacles at Japanese or other Asian supermarkets
- Pickled Ginger – this comes ready to go in jars. I usually buy the non-dyed version that is yellow instead of pink, which uses food dye.
- Wakame Seaweed – most traditional pokes use seaweed. Native Hawaiian seaweed includes limu and ogo, but I’ve used Japanese wakame seaweed which is easy to find in most Asian markets.
- Schichimi Togarashi – this is the classic Japanese hot pepper spice, but you could use another hot pepper spice of your choice. Or skip it all together, if you don’t like spice.
- Sesame Oil
- Soy Sauce
Once the ingredients are all chopped up, they just need to be mixed together.
Serve immediately or within 2-3 days.
More Hawaiian Poke inspiration
- 1 ea cooked octopus tentacle 2 oz, sliced as thinly as possible
- 1 Tb pickled ginger sliced
- 1 Tb wakame seaweed soaked in water until soft and chopped
- 1/4 tsp Japanese shichimi togarashi or other chili flakes
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- Mix all ingredients together. Serve within 2-3 days.