'Chikarashi' combines Hawaiian poke with Japanese chirashi

CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- In this week's Neighborhood Eats, you can find the taste of summertime in a bowl.

We're checking out a restaurant where the fish is fresh and served with rice in big, decadent bowl.

"Chikarashi" is located at 227 Canal Street in Chinatown, Manhattan.

"What we do is take that Hawaiian poke inspiration and we marry it together with a Japanese Chirashi experience, so it's the best of both worlds," said Selwyn Chan, "Chikarashi".

The result is a bowl like this at "Chikarashi". In essence, rice with raw fish, homemade sauce and plenty of toppings.

The tiny restaurant on Canal Street has a small counter and small menu, but the emphasis is on big flavors with the freshest ingredients.

"Everything in texture and flavor profile has a contrast to keep you interested through the whole bowl," said Chef Michael Jong Lim, "Chikarashi".

Chef Jong Lim worked at Masa, one of the city's top sushi restaurants, so he knows his fish, and how to pair it with other ingredients; like fluke with chojang, a Korean sauce, or the Goma Shoyu Tuna, the most reminiscent of the poke you'd find on a beach in Hawaii.

"It's really quality fish so I appreciate that. Raw fish has to be really fresh fish and it's tasty and they have a great combination of ingredients too," a customer said.

"I eat sushi so I can usually taste quality fish and it's fantastic here," another customer said.

There's a tofu option for vegetarians and the Sichuan chili salmon is a collision of Chinatown and poke.

For that, Chef Michael makes mayonnaise with eggs, rice wine vinegar, salt, sugar, water and a squeeze of lemon.

To that he adds a layered, minty Sichuan sauce and oil.

The mayonnaise is mixed with the salmon and white onions.

Furikake, daikon and Panko round out the dish.

"It's just a better style of poke that I've ever had and I've been to Hawaii and some of the other poke restaurants in New York, and they just have a unique twist and I think their flavors and combinations are really the best," a customer said.

And you can finish that meal with a dole whip, the only place in New York City to have this frozen Hawaiian treat, but it's those poke bowls that are exciting customer's palates.

"You can virtually have a different bowl every day of the week and have a different experience," Chan said.

Sichuan Mayo, two part recipe:

Fresh Sichuan/Sansho Chili Oil

1 part Sichuan peppercorn
1 part sansh chili powder
4 parts dried bird chili
6 parts canola oil

1. Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend at high speed.
2. After blended thoroughly, transfer into a pot and bring infused oil to a simmer over medium heat, then turn off and allow to cool.

* Alternatively, you may purchase Sichuan chili oil from any Asian grocery store and it can often be found in the Asian grocery isle at most supermarkets.

Fresh Sichuan Chili Mayonnaise

(yields 1 quart)

Fresh squeezed juice from half of a Lemon
1.5 teaspoons Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
1.5 teaspoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Water
2 whole Large Brown Eggs
2 Egg Whites
1/2 quart Sichuan chili oil

1. With the exception of the Sichuan chili oil, add all ingredients into a food processor and blend on high speed.
2. When blended thoroughly, with the processor still running, slowly stream in the Sichuan chili oil to emulsify.
3. Adjust consistency with water, if necessary.
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