Over the past 20+ years when visiting each of the Islands of Hawaii, we would always try to find a good local fish shop to buy poke and fresh fish to cook during our vacations. In some places it was more difficult than in others (I’m not ashamed to say I’ve asked a number of locals, “hey, you know a guy can get me fish?”), but fresh, local fish is always worth it when found.
When we moved here, my goal was to find a great place that consistently made good poke and sourced the freshest fish from local fishermen. I found that with Suisan Fishmarket. Every day the poke options are fantastic and creative, from the traditional “Hawaiian Style” to “Magic Marlin” to “Mix Plate” (where you can try opihi without committing to a full pound), and beyond. Always fresh, always local. And their pork rinds are pretty damn tasty, too!
A couple of weeks ago I went into Suisan for my lunch reward after swimming at Carlsmith (before the closures) and saw some beautiful fresh a’u in the case (virtually no trace of bloodline!). On top of the case was my favorite seaweed, ogo. A dinner plan began to form in my head.
I grabbed a nice, big steak, a bag of ogo, a container of sea asparagus, and my poke bowl, and headed home. I’d picked up some pea tendrils from the Locavore Store, and I had some of my garden tomatoes that I’d made into confit the day before. I also had just received one of my (too) many pandemic purchases of metal food molds (squares! rectangles! circles!), so I made a square base of seasoned sushi rice with tomato confit, then a piece of seared marlin with more tomato confit, topped with ogo and surrounded by tender pea tendrils and some fried cauliflower.
I also made an adaptation of a dish I’d enjoyed at a dinner from Na’au in the Spring- tomato water with sea asparagus and a few droplets of wasabi oil.
We ate well, thanks to the incredible ingredients from Suisan. When you eat local, you can’t go wrong.
Want to read more mouthwatering food reviews and recipes from Lisa, owner and chef of Paradise Hand Pies? Check out these articles:
Long-time foodie and gourmet home cook Lisa Atkinson created Paradise Hand Pies & Catering to bring the art of the savory and sweet hand pie to Hawaiʻi. She began cooking at eight years old. It wasn’t until after living for a year in France that she began to educate and expand her palate and learn to appreciate local food culture, including her own Native culture.
She’s traveled the world searching for the perfect hand pie ingredients. She’s cooked elk, duck, and buffalo from Oregon; sampled numerous varieties of pork in Sardinia; tasted red deer with gravy, and whitebait sandwiches in New Zealand; shared community favorites of musk ox, moose, Eider duck, halibut, and crab in remote villages in Alaska; and downed local meat delicacies in Ireland and Scotland.
Transplanted from the rainy Pacific Northwest to sunny Hawaiʻi Island, she’s decided that there is no time like the present to embark on a new adventure to blend her passion for food with her love of sharing that food with her new community. Blending Island favorites with a global perspective—the results are delicious!
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