These wild ferns grow abundantly in the Hawaiian rainforest. They have a crisp, refreshing texture and an unusual sap that creates a mild numbing sensation when eaten. Since the pohole has a very mild flavor I like to incorporate assertive herbs and flowers like the peppery Nasturtium blossom to liven things up.
1 pound fresh-harvested pohole ferns
1 large Maui onion
1 large ripe tomato
¼ cup cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons mint leaves
3 tablespoons Thai basil leaves
¼ cup nasturtium flowers
2 tablespoons sesame oil
¼ cup mild olive oil
1 tablespoon Hawaiian white honey
1 Hawaiian chile pepper
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
2 tablespoons white soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
Clean the pohole ferns and cut away any dried or tough stalks, leaving the tender leaves and upper stalk.
Slice the Maui onion and tomato into a julienne (thin strips).
Put the sesame oil, olive oil, honey, chile pepper, white soy, rice vinegar, ginger and lime juice into a blender and
blend until smooth.
Combine the pohole, nasturtiums, herb leaves, tomato and onion in a large bowl.
Gently toss the fern mix with the honey-sesame dressing and season to taste.