The Cub Reporter

Filed under Food & Travel, Showcase

What is Poke?

Delicious%2C+fresh+poke+made+from+ahi+tuna.+
Delicious, fresh poke made from ahi tuna.

Delicious, fresh poke made from ahi tuna.

via Wikimedia Commons

via Wikimedia Commons

Delicious, fresh poke made from ahi tuna.

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Poke is a food item that seems to be the latest food trend. This colorful dish served in conventional plastic bowls is popping up all over social media, and everyone has more or less heard of the craze around it. There might even have been a new little shop at the mall labeled with the words Poke, and an interior with a stark resemblance to a pop-up burrito bar. But what is poke, and what is it that appeals to what people are raving about?

Poke, which is pronounced POH-keh, not ‘poke’, seems like a new trendy creation, but it actually is a food traditionally originating from Hawaii. Poke is very common in Hawaii, as they are sold in almost everywhere, from roadside stands to grocery stores. In Hawaiian, the term ‘poke’ literally means “to slice or cut”. That refers to cubed raw fish tossed over vegetables, rice, and varied sauces and seasonings. Simply put, poke is a dish that incorporates all the ingredients of sushi into a bowl making it easier to eat. They’re like burrito bowls, but a much healthier option.

A poke bowl usually starts out with a base of warm jasmine rice. It provides a nice contrast to the cold toppings, although most shops also offer healthier options, like salad or brown rice. Next up is the choice of fish, most commonly and traditionally tuna, although a variety of raw fish can be used, including salmon and yellowtail. The choices can also range from cooked shrimp and crab to tofu and mushrooms if raw fish isn’t the preference. The customer’s choice of protein is then seasoned with sesame seeds and pink salt, including different types of Japanese dressings like soy sauce, shoyu, or ponzo. Lastly, the mix is topped off with a wide choice of toppings. Some of them include avocado, edamame, crabmeat, and seaweed salad. Pickled ginger and wasabi pack an extra punch of flavor, and the whole bowl can be finished with a sprinkling of crispy onion and spicy mayo.

This dish is extremely versatile and can be customized to be as healthy as the customer wants it to be. One serving of Poke can go for as low as 150 calories. Its vibrant colors make it not only a healthy and tasty meal but also one that looks aesthetically pleasing. There are endless options to a poke bowl, the perfect meal for anyone, and everyone to try out.

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What is Poke?