Smoke Tako



Hey Bradda Kevin
You local too? What you doin in California?
Yea I used Hawaiian Salt on my Salmon and smoked it with Hickory Chips cause it was too late to go get some keawe wood from Waianae. I tried somking some tako after it had been marinating in a sauce made up of sake, sesame oil, sugar, mirin, garlic, and Hawaiian salt for about 2 days. After somking and curing in the refigerator I used it in "tako poke" with the usual stuff ( Ya know onions, inamona, limu, seame oil, chili peper, chinese parsley, and green onion ). I took it to a diving club beach party and it was " Winnas !!". I'm wondering if I could do the same with Ahi or Aku Poke although trying to get the fish to be smoke and yet still rare might be a little difficult. Sorry if some of this stuff is greek to some of you but let Kevin explain he's from Hawaii and I gotta get back to work before the boss comes back. Aloha

Kevin K

My mouth is watering just reading this! Reminds me that I have a frozen tako (that would be an octopus for you non-islanders) waiting for me to do something with! Too bad it's so hard ot get good ogo up here, or else I would have wacked that thing a long time ago.

As far as doing the smoked Ahi/Aku poke, I don't have any complete recipes handy. I do have a smoked ahi marinade attached at the bottom of this reply (I'll also post seperately also). Usually the smoked fish won't have the consistency I like in poke, since once cooked, it will have a tendency to flake (unlike the smoked tako, which is perfect).

If you are going to smoke the fish, I would use a 'cold smoke' method, where you cure the fish in salt and sugar first, then cook/cure it with a low temp smoke until done. Unfortunately, I think you need an electric smoker to keep the temperature low enough (around 100 degrees). Here's a link that describes the basic approach

What I WOULD do with some fresh ahi/aku is sun dry 'em (or jerky it), then simply cut into bite sized pieces, mix with some sesame oil, shichimi, chili peppah, hawaiian salt for good luck, and either some ogo or cucumber slices for crunch and grind 'em dat way.

Foodland makes a good smoked marlin that I liked to do that with.

If you do smoke it, then you can do the same thing, but go light on the oil, a littel extra salt, and add a little bit of water. Use the cucumbers to scoop it up. It makes a nice mushy dish that goes good with beer!

Here's a couple recipies to fool around with (I ripped these off but I don't know where. Apologies to whoever I stole from!)


Step 1 - catch one

Step 2 - Filet into 1' long chunks. Remove dark meat & save for bait. Slice the remaining meat into strips 1.5"x1 foot.

Step 3 - Prepare marinade in ratios provided
* 1 quart Kikomen soy sauce
* 1 lb. dark brown sugar
* 2 cloves /or 1 teaspoon garlic salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper
* Other spices if desired: thyme,cayenne, whatever.

Step 4 - Marinate in 1 gallon ziplocks for 24 hours. Drip/dry on racks for 2-3 hours.

Step 5 - Hang in Smokey Joe on "S" shaped coat hanger hooks of lengths from 1" to 7". Strips are hung from top of smoker at different levels to maximize space. If loaded properly, smoker can accomodate 50 pieces!

Step 6 - Smoking: Add hickory chips. Intervals of 4 hours between changing is the norm. Because the heat in the smoker rarely is over 100 degrees, you might want to cover with a burlap sack if it is cold outside. Time in smoker till jerky-like, can take as much as 48 hours.

Step 7 - Enjoy! This jerky is non-fishy and many who have tried it claim that it is comperable or better than the best deer jerky they have ever tasted!

Drunken Hawaiian Smoked Shrimp (need the marinade for the ahi)

7 each Ama Ebi Shrimp
1/2 cup beer
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 Tbs dry rub
5 Tbs brown sugar
wood chips

Mix beer, garlic, dry rub and brown sugar together and pour over the shrimp. Marinate for 30 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade and place in a steamer. Pour half the marinade into a small bowl. In the bottom of the skillet place the bowl of marinade in the middle and place the wood chips around the bowl. Place the steamer over the skillet and turn on high heat for 2 minutes. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp and cook another 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp and serve.

Smoked Ahi Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 tsp dry rub
1 Tbs BBQ sauce
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 pinch chopped parsley
2 ounces Smoked Shrimp marinade

Place all ingredients together and mix until well combined.

Dry Rub: (Secret Recipe)
Paprika, Kosher salt, black powder
(lesser amount of) garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard
(still lesser amount of) celery seed, chili powder, cumin powder, cayenne powder


Kevin K

Hey Matt-

I'm going to smoke a couple of Tako this weekend, and I wanted to know if you had a good marinade? I'm going to smoke 2 of them, and I'll marinate 1. That ingredient list you had sounds good. If you don't reply, I'll go freestyle and see what happens.

Also, you think keawe is the best for this? I have some chunks I can use.




Hey Kevin,
Gee that was last year and I kinda use eye for my marinade. But I use sake, mirin ( at the most a tea spoon cause mirin is very strong ), sesame seeds and a dash of sesame oil, some sugar, salt, shoyu and garlic. I make mine kinda on the sweet side using the sake and sugar to do this. Smoking will dilute the sugar sweetness somewhat and enhance the flavor ( or so I think ). As for wood, yea keawe seems good, I tried hickory and that was good too, I don't know about cherry and or apple, if I were you I'd stick to keawe. Oh, and I almost forgot sprinkle a little bit of dried chili flakes for some kick! I do, but ya know us "Yobos" we like em a little hot, more for us!!! Aloha mattD
p.s. I kinda thought about it so here goes,
1 Cup Sake
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Shoyu
1 Tea Spoon Mirin
2 Table Spoons Salt
1 Table Spoon Sesame Oil
4 Cloves Garlic
Black Pepper and Dried Chili Flakes to Taste
Marinate for 1 - 2 days, hope this helps.

[This message has been edited by mattD (edited 05-18-2001).]

Kevin K

Mahalo for that. The plan is to smoke on Sunday so I'll let you know how the recipe works.

I'll do 1 normal, and 1 Yobo style!


Kevin K

Hey Matt,

The Tako came out awesome. It was a little salty, but I'm not sure if that was the marinade, or because I didn't rinse it good after I lomied it with the salt. Either way, it was only the small leg tips that were really bad. Next time, I think I'll soak it in fresh water after the rub down, and cut back on the salt in the marinade. Can always add more after. When I mixed it with the sesame oil, it blended fine though.

We smoked with Keawa for about 1.5 hours at 250 degrees. I had 2 going, and the 1 at the bottom seemed to get a lot of oil from the head dripping on it, so that one went about 20 more minutes.

After it came out, I sliced some up and mixed with green onion, inamono, sesame oil, and some toasted sesame seeds and it was a winnah! I also made up some imitation crab poke to remind me UH tailgate days while we waited!

Thanks again for the advice.



Hi Kevin,
Good to hear that the tako came out great! I suspect the salt maybe with the marinade because I go by eye and taste. Thursday I head on over to Molokai for some free diving and spear fishing for Ulua, and some Goats ( Kumu, and Moana Ukali ) and belive it or not some huge Moi which we catch in the holes and spear em. Hope the tako will be running and I can pick some up. Last year about this time we went up there and came back with lot of venison. Maybe if I get some this time I can try and smoke some and experiment. Well have a great Memorial Day weekend, right now things are really busy with the "Pearl Harbor " premier on the carrier Stenis. Oh and it's not tailgating local style unless you got some "Izzy", Kaau Crater Boys, Gabby, and other local tunes, otherwise its just another party... Aloha " Molokai mo betta " mattD

[This message has been edited by mattD (edited 05-23-2001).]


Hey Couch Potato,
A Tako is an Octopus, the locals use what the Japanese call it. No it's not to be confused with TACOS which I'm sure you know what that is. What you pulled up is a dish called Tako Poke ( POE-KEE ). Much like a seafood salad using Octopus, Green Onions, Round Onions, Seaweed, Pepper Flakes, Sesame Oil, Shoyu, Hawaiian Salt mixed together and eaten cold like a salad. If ever comming to the islands Poke is served various ways with various seafood items usually the fish is used raw, and other seafood items are cooked-depends, Ahi Poke, Crab Poke, Tako Poke, Marlin Poke, Clam Poke, Shrimp Poke so on and so on. So if your ever in the Islands try some you'll be pleasantly surprised. You might even start wearing T-shirts and shorts everywhere when you get home, even in the middle of winter. Aloha mattD