Tuna Poke with Barley and Furi-Kale

By • March 8, 2017 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Adapted from several recipes: the poke and furi-kale from Martha Cheng's The Poke Cookbook, the dressing for the barley from Dinner: A Love Story, the addition of rice vinegar or lemon to the poke marinade from Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Easy.

Soy sauce: Opinions vary regarding whether you should use low-sodium or regular soy sauce for poke. I think this is personal preference, and this might be why I like the addition of rice vinegar or lemon to the poke marinade—it cuts the salt of the soy sauce a bit. I've been using Ohsawa Organic's "Mama Shoyu," which is lower in sodium than Kikkoman, but not labeled as "lite." Feel free to omit the rice vinegar or add to taste. I also use double the amount of dressing, so feel free to make half of the poke dressing.

Barley: I've been using quick-cooking barley from Trader Joe's — it boils in 10 minutes, and it cooks up beautifully. Use rice, quinoa, farro—whatever you want in its place.

"Furi-Kale" is a faux furikake, which is typically made with dried seaweed and various seasonings from sesame seeds to dried fish to dried plum. Here, kale stands in for the seaweed.
Alexandra Stafford

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Serves 4

  • 1 pound sashimi-grade tuna
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce, see notes above
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
  • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar, divided
  • 1.5 cups pearled barley, see notes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced, white and light green parts
  • black and/or white sesame seeds
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, leaves removed from stems
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, stir together the soy sauce, sesame oil, sambal oelek, if using, and 2 tablespoons of the rice vinegar, if using. Dice the tuna into 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch cubes based on preference. Add cubes of tuna to bowl, toss to coat and transfer to fridge.
  2. Boil barley according to package instructions. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile, in a small skillet or saucepan, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2 teaspoon kosher salt until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Toss this dressing with the cooked barley. Add half of the sliced scallions and sprinkle with sesame seeds to taste/look, if you wish. Toss to mix.
  3. Meanwhile, place kale leaves on rimmed sheet pan. Toss with 2 tablespoons oil and salt to taste. Use the remaining tablespoon of oil if the leaves seem dry. Spread leaves in an even layer. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until leaves have shriveled, darkened, and feel crisp. Remove pan from the oven.
  4. Place scallions in a bowl. Place sesame seeds in a bowl. Remove tuna from fridge. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed — it may need a pinch of salt, it may need a splash more vinegar or lemon.
  5. To assemble: spoon barley into serving bowls. Spoon tuna over top. Garnish with crispy kale chips, scallions and sesame seeds.

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