Foodie Friday: Why Poke is What It’s All About


Move over, Pokemon Go. There’s another “Poke” trend sweeping the nation, and it’s downright delicious. Lovers of fresh fish, savory umami flavors, and Hawaiian specialties rejoice: Poke Bowls are showing up on menus in major cities on both coasts, and it won’t be long till middle America joins the obsession.

Today, we look at this sushi-like delight—that’s been popular for ages with native Hawaiians—and share some recipes to get a taste of the islands at home!

What is Poke?

Pronounced poh-keh—not like the act of jabbing your finger into someone’s shoulder, nor like a certain hokey dance—this dish is native to Hawaii and can be accurately described as a marinated raw-tuna salad. It’s such a ubiquitous staple of menus in the islands that Hawaiians will find Poke already cubed and ready in their supermarket cases for their next meal at home. Here in the continental states, it’s catching on in trendy food hubs among health-conscious diners, adventurous hipsters, and ethnic food enthusiasts.

Poke bowls consist of cold, sushi-grade Ahi tuna marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, cubed and served atop warm, white sushi rice. Add some black and white sesame seeds, seaweed salad, and diced avocado, and you’ve got the foundation for a delicious poke bowl.

Simple Ahi Tuna Poke Salad featured on Serious Eats

Simple Ahi Tuna Poke Salad featured on Serious Eats

From there, let your imagination be your guide: add garnishes like pickled ginger, shredded carrots, thinly sliced radishes, red pepper flakes, julienned zucchini, scallions, cilantro, sweet onions, or edamame.

You can also change things up by swapping out the tuna for other main ingredients: cooked salmon for those who are shy about eating raw fish, or cubed tofu or golden beets for a vegetarian version.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Poke at Sons of Thunder, NYC --

Poke Bowl at Sons of Thunder, NYC

New York Times: Where to Find Poke in Manhattan

If you’re craving the distinctive umami flavors of a Poke Bowl while traipsing around New York City, the food insiders at the Times have you covered. This article highlights and reviews several restaurants (like the Asian-American fusion joint, Sons of Thunder) that serve the beloved Hawaiian dish, and it offers insight into what makes Poke such a sought-after food. Check it out here.

For an excellent compilation of Poke Bowl recipes, check out these variations courtesy of Huffington Post.

Even if you don’t have the time or money to jet off to Hawaii anytime soon, you can still enjoy the love of food, relaxation, and community they demonstrate so well.

Seek out some fresh culinary adventure this weekend—whether trying out a new restaurant or trying your hand in the kitchen with something delicious and exciting!

Happy Foodie Friday!

And, of course, for something a little weird…

Poke Bowls have skyrocketed in popularity in the culinary scene lately, and naturally there are rather weird twists on the recipe making the rounds of both restaurant menus and the blogosphere. Behold, the Poke Burrito—for those who want a taco-shop-friendly version of Poke!


(Sources: Dinner A Love Story, Thrillist, PopSugar, Bon Appetit, Serious Eats)

Posted in: Food and Drink, Food Trends, Foodie Friday, Health and Diet

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