Monday, March 19, 2012

Award-winning Shrimp Poke

I'm very excited to share with you that my Paniolo Shrimp Poke was the overall amateur winner as well as the cooked category winner in Sam Choy's Keauhou Poke Contest. I even got to meet Sam Choy himself!

Poke (poe-kay) means "to slice" and is often served as a pupu, or appetizer, here in Hawaii. Poke has deep cultural roots on the islands and the classic combination of raw ahi, inamona (ground kukui nut), sea salt, and limu seaweed can't be beat. Over the generations poke has evolved to include countless versions influenced by the rainbow of cultures we enjoy here. We can basically sum up poke as being a seafood salad that is served raw or cooked.

When creating this recipe, I thought about what I could bring to poke from my cultural background and personal love for the islands. I also wanted to include as many locally sourced products as possible (we were required to use locally sourced seafood). As I experimented with various ingredients, it became clear that my "little bit of country" wanted to come out in this recipe. Because that is what the Big Island is for me, a wide open space and nothing but country.

I went for a paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) theme in my recipe and table display. The Big Island is covered in cattle ranches and rodeo is a very popular event. I like to think the paniolo would enjoy this poke of whole shrimp, simmered in a chipotle sauce, and mixed with sweet corn and cilantro. Please see the recipe below.

Paniolo Shrimp Poke
Makes about 1 pound

1 pound whole, unpeeled shrimp
1 can chipotle peppers, divided
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 TBL olive oil
1 cup water
salt to taste
1 ear corn
¼ cup cilantro leaves
1 lime

From the can of chipotle peppers, add 1 pepper plus all of the liquid from the can to a pot. Stir in the garlic, and the white part of the green onion. Add the water, olive oil, and salt. Simmer on medium low heat for 20 minutes, covered.

Add half of the shrimp to the pot and cook for 5 minutes or until both sides of the shrimp are pink. You may want to flip them over halfway though. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon to a bowl and repeat with the remaining shrimp.

Peel and chop the shrimp, reserving the heads. Place shrimp meat in a bowl.

Add shrimp heads back into the pot with the sauce. Simmer on low for 15 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit. Add salt if needed. Discard heads. Add the juice from the lime to the sauce. Transfer sauce to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Blanch corn for 1-2 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Cut kernels off the cob.

Add corn, sauce, remaining green onion, and cilantro to the chopped shrimp. Stir to combine.



  1. Congrats! That's so awesome!!! I like your twist on poke or as you say it, "little bit of country." LOL I never thought about add corn and such to poke. I'm kinda one sided when it comes to poke making. I blame my one sidedness to my upbringing. LOL

  2. Congratulations!!! I am so proud!

  3. Congratulations, another win!!! Sounds delicious!

  4. It was awesome... I got to sample a small portion of it!


Aloha Saturdays with Maggy reader! Thank you for your comments, I love hearing your thoughts and feedback.


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