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Giving Thanks with Cultural Cuisine: Spicy Ahi Poke

CHERYL CORLEY, host:

Every Thanksgiving dinner needs something special to start the meal off just right, and our fusion feast is no different. Contributor David Vera lives on the big island of Hawaii. He says for his friends and family, that means the pupu table.

Mr. DAVID VERA (Chef): Our group that gets together is usually between 20 and 40 people. And we start everything off with a pupu table, and this is a separate table set aside with a variety of different things people have showed up with. And one of my favorites is the Spicy Ahi Poke. We would start off this dish by cubing fresh Ahi, fresh caught Ahi, and mixing it with ingredients such as Hawaiian chili peppers, red Hawaiian sea salt, green onions, sesame oil, Maui onion, a little bit of shoyu, and a roasted kukui nut which we call Inamona.

And this is all left in the refrigerator to soak up all the flavors. And once it's been there for a few hours, we chase this down, the Spicy Ahi down with ice-cold beers. And we have a saying in Hawaii that says, lucky I live Hawaii. And it's a local saying, which means we appreciate all what we have here, and we are just glad that we live here. And that's pretty much a traditional Hawaiian Thanksgiving here on the island.

CORLEY: Chef David Vera resides in Kailua, Hawaii. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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