Poke Bowl: Recipe And Restaurants

What is a poke bowl? Learn how to make one and where you can eat them in the US.
A poke bowl is a Hawaiian dish made basically with raw fish and fresh vegetables.

 

Poke is one of the latest gastronomic fashions in the United States. It is a Hawaiian dish in which we mix different types of raw fish, usually tuna, marinated with different seasonings that generally include sesame and soya sauce. 

Other fresh ingredients are added to the fish, such as avocado, algae, sesame, onion, cucumber, etc. It is usually served in a bowl together with some rice. In this article, we are going to tell you what is a poke bowl, some ways of making it and which are some of the best restaurants in the United States where you can have some

What is a poke bowl?

A poke bowl is a Hawaiian dish, characterized by being very healthy and versatile. It is made from small pieces of fish and vegetables marinated and seasoned that are presented together in the same container, usually a bowl. It can be accompanied by some cereal or another type of ingredient rich in carbohydrates.

Its origin goes back to the time of the native Hawaiians. In those years it was consumed in a very basic way, with gutted fish, without bones and skin, which was chopped (hence the word poke, meaning to chop). In the 19th century, foreign vegetables, such as tomatoes and onions, arrived on the island. These ingredients were quickly introduced to the original recipe and are now part of it.

In the 1980s, this dish left the Pacific Islands and arrived in California, where it became very popular and adapted to the new flavors that were in fashion at the time. In this way, this preparation has absorbed, over the years, the fashionable ingredients of each era and different cultures, such as the ingredients of Japanese cuisine, Hindu, Mexican aromas, Latin influences and touches Nikkei.

Poke usually includes ahi (a kind of tuna with a yellow fin which is common in the Pacific) among its ingredients, chopped or in strips, soya sauce (a condiment established in Hawaiian gastronomy for years), sesame oil, different types of algae (which gives the dish a gelatinous and crunchy texture), nuts, different types of spicy sauces, Maui onion in slices, tomato cut in brunoise and rice or other cereals as a base.  

Also, due to the Asian influence that it has received, raw salmon, red tuna and octopus can be added. In the more complete versions of this dish, quinoa, legumes, and wild or black rice are added.

All the ingredients used to prepare this dish make it a very balanced and healthy preparation, as long as the sauces are not abused.

The poke bowl is a varied and healthy dish as it combines protein, fiber and carbohydrates.

 

Poke recipe

The poke bowl admits infinities of variants, allowing to add a great diversity of ingredients according to our tastes. This recipe is originally from Hawaii. It is a very simple, tasty and fresh dish. We can give it our personal touch according to our tastes or the ingredients we have at home.

To make it we need: 150 g of fresh tuna, 3 g of dried wakame seaweed, 2 g of dried hijiki seaweed, 1 small spring onion, 3 chives, 1 small or medium-large avocado, 5 ml of black and/or white sesame seeds, 5 ml of low-salt soy sauce, 2 ml of sesame oil (optional), dried chili to taste, lemon or lime juice and a pinch of salt.

We cut the fish into small cubes and set aside. Re-hydrate the wakame and hijiki seaweed with hot water. Chop very finely the spring onion and chives and cut the avocado in slices. Then toast the sesame seeds. Mix the fish with the spring onion, seaweed, soy sauce, sesame oil and half of the chives. Place all these ingredients in a bowl or container, add avocado and sprinkle with lemon juice. Add a little cayenne, salt and decorate with the rest of the chives.

Based on this tuna poke recipe, we can add and change the ingredients according to our preferences and tastes. Thus, we can add carrot, cucumber, lettuce, coriander, ginger, salmon, octopus, etc.

Although there are traditional poke bowl recipes, we can adapt the ingredients to our tastes and preferences.

 

Best poke bowl restaurants in the US

In the US we can find a lot of specialized poke bowl restaurants that offer us different versions of this Hawaiian dish. In the following lines, we are going to mention 5 poke bowl restaurants that are well scored by Google users:

1. Poke Bowl

There are three different Poke Bowl restaurants in New York. This franchise offers a wide range of ingredients when creating your own poke bowl.

2. Wisefish Poké

Wisefish Poké is a seafood shop that focuses on the Hawaiian dish, poké. They are placed in the Chelsea neighborhood in New Your City. They let you choose your own poke bowl, which is all done with responsibly-sourced food. 

3. Hawaii Poke Bowl

Hawaii Poke Bowl is in Apple Valley, Minnesota. They also have a lot of different ingredients to create wonderful ahi tuna poke bowls and other wonderful versions of it. 

4. Red Poke

They describe themselves as a Korean restaurant where they serve raw fish or grilled meat in bowls with many other ingredients among which there is rice, noodles or salad. There are two Red Poke restaurants in New York. 

5. Ono Poke

Ono Poke is a restaurant where you can also choose between the great variety of ingredients they have depending on your tastes and preferences. You can choose the size of the bowl, the base (rice or beans) and then the rest of the ingredients you want in your poke bowl. There are two restaurants, both in Houston, Texas. 

References

Laudan, Rachel (1996). The Food of Paradise. University of Hawai'i Press.

Titcomb, Margaret (1972). The Native Use of Fish in Hawai'i. University of Hawai'i Press.