Beef Poke

In Hawaiian, poke is “to cut crosswise,” which refers to the tiny slices cut crosswise from fresh fish usually used in the renowned Hawaiian dish. Steve Balantac, the sous chef at Hula Grill Waikiki, puts a more hearty twist on the traditional poke with seared chunks of prime rib with sweet Maui onions and crushed Kukui nuts (candlenuts) with a sweet-savory sauce. “We wanted meat lovers to experience what fish lovers enjoy so much about poke,” says Paul Rivera, Balantac’s executive chef.

The notes of Food & Wine Test Kitchen Food & Wine Test Kitchen

Food and Wine Test Kitchen’s version of this dish pays tribute to the raw origins of poke by quickly grilling tenderloin steaks of beef for the exterior to be browned and keeping the inside delicious. The succulent and lightly seared meat is paired with sweet tomatoes and sweet onion (which provide a refreshing sweetness) and topped with a crunchy smear of macadamia and garlic-fried nuts. Every portion is coated with an elegant Soy Sauce dressing. It’s a tasty dish that requires only 30 minutes to cook — a perfect solution to the itch of cravings after a little too many hours in the sun.

Serve this poke steak bowl alone or with sushi rice, prawn crackers, and lettuce wraps.


  • 1 1/4 pound (1-inch-thick) beef tenderloin steaks (3 to 4 steaks, see Note)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • One tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Three tablespoons mirin
  • Two tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • One tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Two teaspoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 2/3 cup sliced sweet onion
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
  • Three tablespoons roughly chopped salted roasted macadamia nuts, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Fries garlic for the garnish (such as Maesri)
  • Lime wedges for serving


  1. Set steaks on a plate and sprinkle evenly with salt. Leave to rest, uncovered at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Cook canola oil in a large pot at a high temperature until it starts to shimmer. Clean steaks using paper towels. Place steaks in skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Turn and cook the steaks’ sides until they are browned, approximately 1 minute. Remove the steaks from the skillet and transfer them to an eating board. Let rest for 10 minutes. Wipe skillet clean.
  3. Combine mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and one teaspoon of garlic in a skillet as you whisk. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet. Cook continuously until sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens to a liquid, syrup-like consistency, between 15 and 30 seconds.
  4. Cut steaks into half-inch cubes. Mix tomatoes, steak, Sweet onion, scallions, macadamia nuts, the soy sauce mixture, and the remaining one teaspoon of garlic in a medium bowl until well mixed. Serve with fried garlic, macadamia nuts, and scallions. Drink with wedges of lime.

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