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Hawaii's Winning Recipe: Poke Me Ke Aloha

"Poke means to slice, to cut into pieces, in Hawaiian. Traditional poke is made with raw fish, Hawaiian salt, limu (seaweed), inamona (roasted, ground kukui nut), chiles, and onions. It is a favorite Hawaiian dish and my family loves making and sharing poke at family gatherings. I named my dish Poke Me Ke Aloha (poke with love) because I put all the things I love in it. I serve the poke with quinoa because it is healthier than white rice.”

Kaira Grace Pan, Age 9, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Hawaii


Makes 4 Servings


For the Tomato Poke:

  • 9 grape tomatoes, halved
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup diced sweet onion
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • Dash shoyu or low-sodium soy sauce
  • Dash sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

For the Tofu Poke:

  • 14 ounces firm tofu, drained and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

For the Edamame Poke:

  • 1 cup cooked shelled edamame
  • Dash shoyu or low-sodium soy sauce
  • Dash sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Salt, pepper and hot sauce

For the Ulu Poke:

  • ½ ulu, steamed and cut into ½-inch cubes (you can substitute 2 steamed sweet potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon shoyu or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons furikake
  • Juice and zest from ½ fresh lime
  • 3 tablespoons ground macadamia nuts


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa


  1. To make the Tomato Poke: In a small bowl, season the tomatoes lightly with salt. Let tomatoes sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then drain. Add remaining ingredients and gently toss.
  2. To make the Tofu Poke: Season each tofu cube with salt and garlic powder, then dust with cornstarch. Heat a nonstick saucepan over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Add the tofu and sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm.
  3. To make the Edamame Poke: In a large bowl, gently mix ingredients together. Season to taste.
  4. To make the Ulu Poke: In a large bowl, season the ulu or sweet potato with oil and sea salt. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
  5. To Assemble: Serve quinoa and all the pokes.

521 calories 31g fat 47g carbohydrates 20g protein

Kaira also serves guacamole and a banana-kale sorbet for dessert with this meal.