“Weird Food Combo” Exhibit B Equation: 1 lb. Ahi Poke + 1 package Maebo’s One-Ton Chips = One-Ton Ahi Poke Chips
About a year ago, we were having an online discussion on the various uses for One-Ton Chips, when Gail Jennings, contributing editor at HawaiiDiner.com suggested trying One-Ton Chips with Poke. She swears to have many converted followers of this!
Since I recently posted another “Weird Food Combo” in the form of my mother’s Mayonnaise with Mango “madness”, I thought it was a good time to follow-up on that subject by putting Gail’s suggestion to the test. Besides, I LOVE One-Ton Chips, and I LOVE Ahi Poke, so this has gotta’ be good!
So I picked up a bag of Maebo’s One-Ton Chips and a pound of fresh Ahi Poke, shoyu style from Hawaii Kai Foodland in Koko Marina Center. Man, the price of those chips sure have gone up! This rather small, practically snack-size 4 oz. bag costs almost $5 bucks. The fresh Ahi Poke wasn’t bad though, being on sale for $6.99/lb.. Much better than Safeway, who was charging $12.99/lb. for the same thing. The quality of the Ahi was “melt-in-the-mouth” fresh too. Plus, the one I got came from a batch they had just made, so that buggah was almost as good as the Poke from Ono Seafood on Kapahulu.
1 pound Shoyu Ahi Poke from Foodland Hawaii Kai, $6.99/lb.
Maebo’s One-Ton Chips 4 oz. package from Foodland Hawaii Kai, $4.49
Now let’s see… da’ Ahi Poke is fresh: check, and da’ One-Ton Chips are crunchy: check. Well, let’s do this!
I didn’t scoop it, which is what Gail suggested, but instead used chopsticks to select a slice of Poke I thought would match the size of chip it would rest it on. So here it goes…
Truthfully, at first I was slightly hesitant. Wouldn’t you be! But I gathered the courage and popped the chip with the poke on it in one fell swoop, closely evaluating the contrasting flavors and textures. I repeated this several times with various poke-to-chip ratios. Overall on each and every bite in varied ratios, it immediately hit me that the Poke overpowered the One-Ton Chip’s flavor, primarily due to the slight sesame oil flavor on it, as well as the Ahi itself. It wasn’t until the the Ahi went down did I detect the chip, as that followed with the crunch-factor, which was nice, but not an outstanding feature of it. Even my girlfriend tried a sample, and she had the same impression.
On top of that, the salt on the One-Ton chip accentuated the flavor of the Poke even further, drowning out the mildly-sweet and hearty flavor the One-Ton chips have on their own.
I really was hoping there was going to be this magical “wow, this is an amazing combo, marriage-made-in-heaven'” impression, but it wasn’t the case. Unless I did something wrong here, I’m not “converted”.
Alan Wong has a menu item called “Poke-Pines”, which are described as ” Crispy Won Ton Ahi Poke Balls on Avocado with Wasabi Sauce”. While I haven’t personally tried that yet, I imagine it has much better balance of all the elements involved.
In closing, while it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great. I’m glad I tried it, although I wouldn’t put these two together again. Still, based on creativity in its simplistic approach, and potential as seen by Alan Wong’s version, I’ll rate this One-Ton Poke Chips combo 1 SPAM Musubi.
If you ever try/tried this, let us know what you think!