Chef Ronnie is always pushing the norm and when he shared his latest idea, I paused and thought, “Did I hear him right?” His idea was to make an ice cream cone and put raw fish in it. It would be featured at the Turtle Bay Foundation Golf Tournament, an event that benefits the community and raised more than $130,000 in scholarships and grants last year alone.
As usual, Executive Chef Ronnie Nasuti wanted to get a reaction out of me. I laughed and he went on to explain that he was going to make a fresh, savory waffle cone using taro, giving it a purple hue and some malt flavors and then fill it with Poisson Cru.
Chef was planning to use fresh caught ONO (wahoo), a close relative of the king mackerel. Built like a torpedo, they are fast swimmers. Ono rarely school, but groups are often found around fish aggregation buoys. And they have very sharp teeth!
Poisson Cru is known as a popular Tahitian dish, in French Polynesian, this literally translates to “Raw Fish.” This dish is marinated in lemon or lime juice until the surface of the flesh becomes tightens up a bit. About 5 minutes later, it is mixed with coconut milk and diced vegetables. Chef plans on using local sweet onions, tomatoes, limu (seaweed) and ice lettuce from MetroGrow Hawaii, an urban, vertical farm located in Kakaʻako.
The ice plant (aka Glacier Lettuce or Ice Lettuce) cells are full of salt water and look like ice crystals on the plant. It will give it a crunchy, juicy, salty taste.
An unusual crop, the ice plant is a succulent ground cover whose stems and leaves accumulate salt in specialized cells on the surface. It is a neat addition to salads and good with seafood.