Video of the World’s Best ‘Ahi: From Hawai‘i’s Fish Auction to PokeFest



Just before the crack of dawn, dozens of Hawai‘i’s most discerning buyers begin to trickle in at Honolulu’s Pier 38. Fishmongers. Chefs. Poke shop owners. Mostly local, but often mainland and international, they’re all here for one thing: fresh fish.


Six days a week the Honolulu Fish Auction, the only fresh tuna auction in the United States and the only fish auction between Tokyo and the state of Maine, lines up the freshest selection of ahi caught in waters around the Hawaiian islands. After browsing the selection, a resounding ring of the brass bell signals the opening of the auction and bids begin to fly.


This is where much of the poke at Saturday’s Honolulu PokeFest comes from. Here’s what we caught on Wednesday morning.


The Poke

Fifteen restaurants are scooping up classic, contemporary and creative poke for you this Saturday:


Aloha Poke Shop: Local fish served Chamorro-style with Ewa onion, Hawaiian chili and freshly grated coconut and lemon

Ahi Assassins: Pake Poke with cold ginger chicken-style sauce poke, and Lunatic Poke of spicy ahi without mayo

Alicia’s Market: King crab poke with masago

Aloha Cones: Smoked Salmon Poke with cream cheese aioli, red onion and cucumber

Da Hawaiian Poke Co.: Crunchy Spicy Ahi

Eating House 1849: Poke and Poi: fresh fish of the day with poi, pickled ogo, onion, sea asparagus and chili pepper water

Forty Carrots: Maui Nui Venison Poke with crispy sun chokes inamona and umami mayo

Kai Poke: Michael Mina’s Classic Ahi Poke with Asian pear, garlic, mint, toasted pine nuts, ancho chili powder, habanero sesame oil

Koko Head Café: Fried Poke and Eggs

La Tour Cafe Catering: Salmon Poke with spicy green miso salsa, jicama, red onion, micro purple shiso and housemade chicharrones; and Seared Beef Poke with housemade xo sauce, Japanese cucumber, charred green onion and toasted peanuts

MW Restaurant: Surf n Turf Poke of Brandt beef with grilled shrimp, mushrooms and eggplant

Pagoda Floating Restaurant: Oio Poke

Poke On Da Run: Lomi Ahi

Tamashiro Market: Got Limu? Ahi Poke, 12 different kinds

Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering: Spicy Marlin Poke


For poke photo porn and parking info, check out The parade of poke.