What Is A Poke Bowl?
And Why Is It The Latest Craze? Find Out Here.
What Is Poke?
With this sudden phenomenal food trend, you might have wondered what is poké or what is a poké bowl? Poké pronounced similar to ‘POH-KEH’ means ‘to cut or slice’ in Hawaiian. It is a Hawaiian staple and traditional meal that serves raw fish with toppings, salad or on rice. It is simply a mouth-watering dish that will excite any sashimi lover and health food fanatic.
The dish is a superfood that fits well with those also looking for a light but nutrient-rich meal. It could also be gluten, carb, and meat-free if required. Even though this is a rather healthy dish it can really pack a punch on flavours and texture. This of course also depends on the toppings and sauce combinations you pair it with.
This delicious dish is also very social media worthy – with its clean appeal, and vibrant colours the poke dish really stands out from the crowd. This is why this menu item has been such a hit with food bloggers, and alike.
And due to it’s customizable nature, you can choose a dish that is hearty, delicate or all out flavoursome. If you were to imagine this dish, just picture all the fresh and premium ingredients that make up sushi, now without rolling it just serve it in a bowl. You can even further add more toppings and combinations of sauces to make it how you want it.
How did the poke dish come about?
The poke dish has been around for centuries. Native Hawaiian fishermen would slice up small fish or trimmings of tuna or octopus and serve them raw, seasoning it with what they have, typically salt, seaweed, limu, and onions.
Even though the Salmon is a wide favourite among many, this came later on. Classic traditional poke is from Ahi tuna or octopus. Along with Japanese and other Asian influences, soy sauce, sesame oil, noodles, pickled vegetables, sriracha, kimchi, wasabi, etc became additional options to this already tasty dish.
In Hawaii, poke is available almost everywhere – from grocers, restaurants and even corner shops.
What goes in a typical poke bowl?
Now with the surge of dedicated poke stores and chains, there is becoming a wider variety to choose from starting from the base to the topping, condiments and even sauces. Here is what you can typically find in a bowl:
Starting from the base, the choice here can be either rice, salad or noodles – and many more depending where you visit. It doesn’t stop there, the rice could even be sushi rice, brown rice and many more.
Protein Of Choice
Next step, the protein. Along with the favourites like salmon and tuna, there are other meats and vegetarian options like prawn, chicken and tofu. So poke doesn’t have to be all about the sashimi – vegetarians and non-raw food lovers can enjoy the dish as well. In terms of the sashimi, only the freshest will make the cut this is sushi-grade we are talking about.
Top It UP
This is where the magic happens, poke pretty much has no limitations when it comes to toppings and condiments. The question here is – what do you have available and if you can throw it in. Unlike the classic poke dish, there is now an assortment of options available that can include cucumber, pickled carrots / radish, edamame beans, corn, beetroot, pickled cabbage, kimchi, enoki mushrooms, avocado, crispy onion, sesame seeds, tobiko, cream cheese, quail eggs and even things like shredded seafood stick.
The Final Touch
The sauce. We all love pairing a delicate sauce that will accentuate the flavours of a dish, and poke is no exclusion. Typical sauces are Sriracha, Soy Sauce, and sesame. At Poke Bros., we have Japanese Mayo, Sriracha Mayo, Wasabi Mayo, Aurore Sauce, Ponzu Sauce, Sesame Dressing, and Onion dressing to really arouse your taste buds.
This is the typical breakdown of a poke bowl, so don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t put in your bowl.
What is your favourite topping to add?
~ Bonus ~
Poké is definitely not pronounced as ‘poke’ ( as in facebook poke) or ‘poki’. The Hawaiian language vowels are pronounced the same each time, and the tip here is to try and break up the words when pronouncing.
The vowels can be pronounced as:
‘a’ makes a short ‘ah’ sound like ‘a’ in ‘alot’
‘e’ makes an ‘eh’ sound like ‘e’ in ‘pet’
‘i’ makes an ‘e’ sound like ‘e’ in ‘easy’
‘o’ makes a short ‘oh’ sound like ‘o’ in ‘bowl’
‘u’ makes an ‘oo’ sound like ‘oo’ in ‘moo’
There are more quick Hawaiian language tips here.