Celebrity chef Alan Wong is known for creating award-winning Hawaiian cuisine. But his signature recipe is surprisingly easy to make. Here’s a look at Wong’s career and a breakdown of his delicious Minute Poke Recipe.
Alan Wong might be the richest celebrity chef in the world
Wong is a Japanese-born Hawaiian chef who started his culinary career in the early ’90s working under renowned chef Andre Soltner in New York City’s famous French restaurant, Lucete. After returning to Hawaii and opening his first restaurant, Wong helped establish Hawaiian Regional Cuisine — an organization that promotes locally sourced Hawaiian foods and Hawaiian cuisine.
Wong rose to fame when he opened Alan Wong’s Restaurant in Honolulu. The establishment earned dozens of accolades, including a James Beard Award for Best Chef for Wong and recognition as one of the country’s best restaurants by various institutions. The chef opened several other Alan Wong’s locations around the world, including one in Shanghai and one in Tokyo Disneyland.
Wong authored two cookbooks — Alan Wong’s New Wave Luau and The Blue Tomato – The Inspirations Behind the Cuisine of Alan Wong. And as a favorite of former President Barack Obama, he was invited to create a luau feast for the 2009 White House Congressional picnic.
In his 30 years as a chef, Wong has amassed a net worth of over $1 billion, as reported by Celebrity Net Worth. He is currently regarded as one of the richest chefs in the world.
Alan Wong’s Minute Poke recipe is quick and easy to make
In his 1999 book, The Blue Tomato, Wong reveals the recipe for his Minute Poke. And he noted that the name signifies how quickly the dish comes together at the table.
“Minute Poke is a name I made up,” he said via Hawaii Magazine. “It’s a poke dish designed for the diner to mix at the table, so it marinates briefly just before it’s eaten — Poke can be eaten freshly made or prepared ahead of time.”
The Minute Poke recipe calls for sashimi-grade Ahi tuna, layered with chopped round onions and green onions. For his poke sauce, Wong combines soy sauce, oyster sauce, minced ginger, sesame oil, inamona (ground kukui nuts), and an Indonesian chili paste called sambal oelek.
After the Ahi and onions are chopped, and the sauce is made, Wong suggests arranging the poke in a musubi mold in the center of a bowl or plate. He starts with a layer of onions on the bottom, adds the ahi in the middle, and tops it with a layer of green onions.
He suggests pressing the layers down before removing the mold. A garnish of seaweed and Hawaiian salts is sprinkled around the plate. And the sauce can be spooned around the poke or served on the side. When the dish is served, it can be mixed with salt, sauce, and seaweed to taste.
Alan Wong’s chopped vegetable salad recipe also requires very little prep
Minute Poke isn’t the only easy recipe Wong has created. His chopped vegetable salad is also surprisingly simple to make. And it requires very little preparation.
As detailed by Food and Wine, the dressing is made first. It requires mixing canola oil, sesame oil, sherry vinegar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, black bean salsa, lemon juice, minced garlic, and green chiles with salt and pepper in a bowl. After the mixture is combined, sugar snap peas are boiled for three minutes and then put under cold water before being patted dry with paper towels.
The same boiling process is repeated with beets, broccoli peas, and green beans. Once all the vegetables are cooked until tender, cooled, and patted dry, they are transferred to a large bowl. The veggies are then tossed with baby lettuces, feta cheese, and chopped plum tomatoes.
The dressing is then drizzled onto the salad. Wong says the salad can be refrigerated two days in advance. But he suggests serving it at room temperature.