The Poke Bowl is a raw fish dish made popular by native Hawaiians. Although not actually originating in Japan, home of sushi, the Poke Bowl is often compared to sushi because of the ingredients used. Akin to a deconstructed sushi salad, the Poke Bowl, is made with raw fish, rice and various nuts and vegetables. There are numerous variants available, which each culture adding a unique twist to this dish, which can either be served as a starter or main.
While they may look fancy, the Poke Bowl is actually simple, quick and easy to make. They make a fun, fresh, delicious and super healthy weekday or weekend meal. Especially in summer! So what is the trick to creating the perfect Poke at home? Let’s take a closer look:
Pick Your Rice
The Poke Bowl centres around a base of rice. You can choose from a variety of rice options here, opting for the traditional white sushi rice, or adding some flavour with coconut rice. If you are diet conscious you can even opt for brown or wild rice. If rice just isn’t your thing, try mixing things up by substituting rice for a noodle, shredded zucchini or seaweed base. You’ll want your base to be slightly sticky so that it binds all the other ingredients together and is easier to pick up if using chopsticks.
The Perfect Protein
Most Poke Bowls feature salmon or tuna as their protein, while Heʻe Poke, or Tako Poke, as it’s known in Japan, is made with octopus. When using raw fish, make sure your fish is super fresh and preferably not previously frozen. The fillets should then be sliced lengthwise into strips or cut into small cubes. You can add a squeeze of lemon over your fish, just be sure not to go overboard as the acid will start to cook your fish. If you want to avoid raw fish, pan-friend octopus, squid or prawns, make a fantastic alternative, while vegetarians can go for tofu.
Stack Your Bowl
The perfect Poke is a delicious mix of a range of fresh flavours. You can include vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. Overall, you want to create a good blend of heat, sweet and sour. Avocado and edamame beans are good base, umami flavours and both frequently make appearances in Poke Bowls the world over.
Pineapple then adds some sweet and sour notes and can either be added fresh, grilled or spiced with chilli salt, just be sure to chop it into small cubes first. Peanuts and sesame seeds add some crunch, while garlic and fried onions help add flavour. Pickled radishes, cucumber and ginger are also great for a sour hit. Finally, chile chillies and wasabi peas add that extra kick every good Poke bowl needs, especially when you’re munching away while playing at top gaming sites.
Dress It Up
The final part in perfecting the Poke Bowl is to find the ideal dressing. Your dressing will help bind all your ingredients together while making it easier to eat. Classic soy sauce or ponzu are the two dressings that are normally used, however tahini, siracha and mayo are all possibilities as well. Lime or citrus based sauces can also add a tangy twist to your Poke.