Poke Nachos

A fusion of the fresh, bright and zesty flavors of Japanese and Mexican cuisine

This is SUPER easy, and SUPER good. Wash it down with a couple of Mexican or Japanese light, crisp, dry lagers spiked with a little lime juice, and you’ve got dinner.

The only thing a little tricky about this recipe is finding “Sashimi Grade” fish – which, by the way, isn’t actually regulated by the FDA. Here in Southern California, you can find fish that’s (more-or-less) safe to eat raw at H-Mart (a Korean grocer), as well as some well-stocked chain stores that sell sushi (such as Ralph’s (Kroger) and Vons (Safeway). Also, keep in mind that most “Sashimi Grade” fish is actually previously frozen – but it’s flash frozen at extremely cold temperatures (think -30°F or more) on the boat where it’s harvested, and then slowly thawed at refrigeration temps over the course of a few days. This is why you can actually find decent sushi in places like, say, Denver. Anyway, without further ado…


  1. 8-10oz raw fish (of a couple varieties, such as salmon, yellowtail, albacore, tuna, etc), chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  2. 1 jalapeño, very thinly sliced into rounds
  3. 1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  4. 1/2 cucumber, halved, quartered, and cut into thin slices
  5. 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  6. Zest and juice of 1 lime, divided (use half to garnish the finished product, and half to make the aioli, below)
  7. 1 tablespoon minced chives
  8. Light drizzle toasted sesame chili oil
  9. Pinch gochugaru or Aleppo red chili flakes
  10. Tortilla chips
  11. Drizzle sambal garlic aioli (recipes follows)

For the sambal garlic aioli:

  1. 1 egg
  2. 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  3. 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane or pressed
  4. Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
  5. Pinch kosher salt
  6. 1 tablespoon Sambal Olek (or sriracha, or any chili past or hot sauce of your liking)

To Make the Aioli

Combine all ingredients together, using Kenji Lopez-Alt’s immersion blender may trick, or combine ingredients 3 – 6 with about a cup or so of store-bought mayo.

To Assemble the Nachos

  1. Arrange tortilla chips on a serving dish, spread out in an even layer
  2. Arrange chopped sashimi, avocado, jalapeño, and cucumber evenly on top of the tortilla chips
  3. Drizzle liberally with aioli
  4. Sprinkle evenly with ciliantro, chives and chili flakes
  5. Finish with lime zest and a light drizzle of toasted sesame chili oil

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