Spicy Tako (Octopus) Poke from chef Erwin Joaquin

Erwin Joaquin is a passionate chef who brings the flavours of the Pacific Rim together through Big E Hawaiian Grinds.  Hawaiian food is a melting pot of different cultures that celebrate delicious cuisines.  Erwin was the first chef to feature Poke in Toronto through a variety of pop-up events and festivals. He shares his recipe for Spicy Tako (octopus).

Spicy Tako (Octopus)

Spicy Tako (Octopus) Poke


-1 pound tako (octopus)
-1 sweet onion, diced
-½ cup chopped green onion
-1 cup rice vinegar
-½ cup soy sauce
-½ cup sugar
-3 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
-2 tablespoons bottled Korean kochu jang (hot chile paste)
-1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
-2 cloves garlic, minced


1. Boil octopus for 4 hours. Let cool and slice into bite size pieces. 

2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and let ingredients come together in the fridge for 3-4 hours. 

3. Serve with a garnish of lemon zest.  Serves 4-6 people.


Erwin Joaquin is competing in the ceviche competition at the 7th annual Pan American Food and Music Festival 2019 representing Hawaii.

The Festival is taking place August 17th and 18th at Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto.



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Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography