This dish is inspired by a dish I had out at Pamela’s restaurant in Dalston, where we had a delicious & fun Californian inspired meal. The beet poke is what really stood out to me and I wanted to make my own version. I’ve heard of beet poke but was always a little unsure how well it would work, but it’s actually a great match!
I’ve been pairing beetroot with Asian flavours a lot recently. Beet and ginger soup, the beetroot curry in Sri Lanka was a revelation. I’ve used watermelon to make plant based poke in the past which tastes great, but doesn’t always make sense when you live in London.
So this is my version, I did steal the crispy rice paper idea from Pamela, because I loved it.
A pickled component works well in a poke dish and kohlrabi has been featuring a lot in my Growing Community bags lately, I can’t get enough of it, so refreshing and crunchy with a delicate sweet flavour. I thinly sliced and lightly pickled it, which was actually a happy discovery in itself. I suggest making extra as it makes a great addition to the fridge. You can add it to a hearty salad for a little pop. It works very nicely on avocado toast, a lovely fresh pickle for a sandwich and I imagine it would work very well with many more meals.
So again, beetroot with Asian flavours, but it works so well, and is like a new discovery for me that I can’t get enough of! It’s amazing how I can still be surprised by how versatile this vegetable is.
The recipe is fairly straightforward; the beetroot ideally should marinate overnight. You can also make the kohlrabi and furikake the day before. You could fry the rice crackers too but they are so quick and easy you may as well do them fresh. I also served mine with chili oil, which is optional but I recommend. This will also keep and chili oil is always good to have in the kitchen.
Serve this with rice and some extra greens for a complete meal, or no rice for a starter or side.
1 inch ginger, peeled & grated
½ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoon tahini
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon ume boshe plum vinegar (or substitute red wine vinegar)
Steam the beetroot until tender, this will vary depending on the size of your beetroot but should be around 30 minutes. While the beetroot is cooking make your marinade. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender, with a pinch of salt.
Once the beetroot is cooked and cool enough to handle, peel. The skin should slide off easily when the beetroot is still warm. Cut into 1cm cubes, and place in a bowl with the marinade, cover and ideally leave overnight; if not overnight, at least for a few hours.
To prepare the rest of your ingredients.
Quick pickled kohlrabi
¼ cup rice vinegar
big pinch salt
½ tablespoon sugar – I used light agave
Peel and finely slice the kohlrabi, then slice again into thick matchsticks, place in a small non reactive bowl. Heat the rest of ingredients in a small pan, until the sugar and salt melt and the ingredients are combined. Pour over the kohlrabi, this will be ready within half hour but will also be great if you leave overnight.
4 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted- I used a mix of black and white
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon dried nori flakes
1 teaspoon dried wasabi powder
In a pestle and mortar grind your sesame with the salt, add the nori flakes and wasabi powder, mix well. – this isn’t spicy, the wasabi just adds a nice flavour.
Crispy rice paper
Use rice paper sheets, the type you’d use for summer rolls, and break into large pieces. Heat cooking oil in a small frying pan, medium high heat. Once hot add the rice sheets carefully, they should sizzle immediately upon touching the oil, that’s how you know the oil is hot enough. The rice paper will cook very quickly so you’ll be taking them out of the pan almost immediately after putting them into cook. Drain on kitchen paper, and sprinkle with furikake while still hot.
Extras to serve
Rice of choice ( preferably short grain)
Poke bowls are typically served with short grain rice, so make your choice of rice colour and cook according to instructions.
Start the plate with rice, top with a large spoonful of beetroot, some pickles, avocado, sliced spring onion, a sprinkling of furikake, a drizzle of chili if you like and a piece of crispy rice paper.
For a lighter plate omit the rice – this would make a very nice starter, or with rice a great bowl of delicious food.