Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Fish for The New Year

In many cultures, from Italian to Norwegian, there's a belief that eating fish for the new year will bring you good luck. In Hawaii, ahi tuna becomes extremely expensive right before the new year because many Japanese-Americans follow the tradition of serving sashimi, which is the slices of raw fish similar to sushi but without the rice. Ahi tuna--a meaty, fatty fish--is widely known by foodies who have had seared tuna in virtually every Pan Asian restaurant. One of the common ways to prepare tuna in Hawaii is to make poke, which is a Hawaiian tradition of massaging raw fish with salt to cure it and preserve it. Poke through the years have gained a lot of Asian influences, such as the bits of seaweed (ogo) and soy sauce. In the recipe below, I've come up with a very basic and simple poke but dressed it up with a wasabi creme fraiche topping and made it a crostini. This is a very elegant appetizer for your New Year's Eve cocktail party. (The lime juice is a Spanish influence, similar to making ceviche, and helps to cure the tuna so it'll look like it's cooked, so your sushi-shy guests won't be that afraid to eat it.) The best way to eat this crostini is tossing the entire bite-size toast into your mouth and allowing all the flavors to blend together. Hmmmm. Lucious.

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