The Smoked Ahi Dip served with banana chips at Hualani’s is a tasty option on the lunch menu or to enjoy along with pau hana cocktails! Smoking as a means of preparing ono food is an age-old method here on the islands. Smoking is not only a way of preserving otherwise quickly perishable fish and meat, but a distinctive flavor profile that has become a tradition in Hawaiʻi. Plenty of local gatherings will start with firing up the smoker to slow roast a pig from the latest hunt. Extra poke? Throwing it in the hot box makes a great dip to get the pāʻina started.
No smoker? No problem. Here, we will capture the essence of that smoked flavor, but from any conventional kitchen. Use whatever fresh fish you have, or even a nice can of tuna fish. At Hualani’s we flake the fish by hand to leave large chunks, but the size is up to you. Serve with whatever gourmet crackers and chips you have, or go Hawaiian style and get a box of Ritz.
- 8 oz. local fresh fish
- 8 ounces cream cheese – softened
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 bunch green onions thinly sliced (Greens sliced thinly on a bias and whites minced. Keep separated.)
- 3/4 tsp Old Bay or your popular local seasoning blend
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley – divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives – divided
- 1 dash Liquid Smoke
- Your favorite hot sauce – to taste
- Cracked black pepper – to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper if desired and brush with olive oil.
- Place fish fillets on the sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the fillets flake easily. Temperature should be 140 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven and flake with a fork. Set aside.
- Add the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, half the herbs, whites of the green onions, hot sauce, Liquid Smoke and cracked pepper to a bowl, stir to combine.
- Stir in the flaked fish, stirring carefully just until combined.
- Serve over crackers or toasted crostini. Garnish with remaining herbs and green onion tops.