Hawaiian Poke on Fried Wontons

When I moved to the Bay Area from Boston I assumed the fish would be as wonderful as it always was on the East Coast. The Pacific ocean is right over the hill – there are fish in it – why wouldn’t it be? I can’t tell you how many times I have made the drive back to our well known branch of the “sparkling seafood” purveyor to return some smelly fish they had wrapped up for me, because it happens too frequently. It’s truly hit or miss. A “hit” being something decent – not great.  I have only recently found fish that is not only just as good as New England, but some of the best I have ever had. I found the vendor at our local farmers market one Sunday morning. I had been walking right past the Stagnaro Brothers “Santa Cruz Fish” table for years thinking, “Fish at the farmers market ? Nope…”, but one day I was desperate for some fish to grill so I took a look. The color, variety and fresh off the boat difference took me by surprise. I was hooked! Last Sunday they informed me they have opened their wholesale business to the retail public – woo hoo! So I drove to Santa Cruz.

When I asked for tuna this is what was dragged out of cold storage:

Whole Tuna

Whole Tuna

When I asked for a few steaks – the kind man sliced me two from the center of the slab…


This was the most beautiful tuna I have ever seen. I am an ahi addict and have been worried about preparing raw fish at home – but if there ever was a time to try it – the time was now!


Rinse the fish in cold water, dry and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Toss with a generous sprinkle of soy sauce, a splash of sesame oil, finely chopped scallions and a shake of sesame seeds. Refrigerate immediately while preparing the wontons.

Ingredients Ready for Poke

Ingredients Ready for Poke

I use packaged fresh wonton wrappers that can be found at most grocery stores in the refrigerator section. I cut them into triangles and fry them individually in peanut oil – careful they burn very quickly. Drain the wonton crisps on paper towel.

Wonton Appetizers

Wonton Appetizers

Top the crisps with the ahi poke and enjoy!

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