Poké (pronounced “pok-eh” not “poke” like the ridiculous Facebook option) is a traditional Polynesian dish combining raw fish with seaweed and other ingredients like the kukui nut. And I, although I have had the good fortune to visit the Hawaiian Islands many times over the years, until recently had never tried poke. Oh sure, I’ve eaten my fair share of sashimi and had plenty of Hawaiian delights, but never a poké bowl. Heck, I’ve even had poi—an odd-looking paste made from the fermented root of taro—but again, never poke. That is until two days ago.
Admittedly, I’d been wanting to try it for a long time. It’s one of those healthy-eating fads that has popped up in bigger metropolitan areas, think NYC and San Fran, and now has made its way to the Midwest. And lucky me, there’s a hot little spot a few miles away that’s causing a big stir among the locals … so I went. Not entirely sure what to expect, but truly inspired by all they have to offer—BONUS, although it is traditionally a raw fish salad, they offer other options for the not-so-adventurous … so yes, you should go even if you aren’t a mermaid 😉
HOW TO MAKE A POKÉ BOWL
- Choose your base … white rice, brown rice or spring mix. I chose the greens. Next time, I’ll do the brown rice. I think the flavors would mix better with the rice.
- Pick your protein … there are lots of options: raw tuna, raw salmon, or cooked shrimp, eel, beef, chicken, spam, tofu. I had the salmon. Next time I’ll do tuna.
- Add your vegies: carrots, cucumber corn, peppers, onion … I did everything green ; )
- Add your sauce: miso, spicy aioli, sweet unagi, sriracha … there are a number of sauces to choose from. I did the spicy. I love spicy, but it was a little to horseradish for my taste. Next time I’ll do the unagi.
- Toppings: Now you make it your own by adding any combination of the following … avocado, spicy crab, seaweed salad, edamame, tamago, shiitake, kimchi, peppers, jalapeno, ginger, mango, purple cabbage, onions, wasabi. PHEW! I added seaweed salad, edamame, peppers, jalapeno, and purple cabbage. And it was perfect. I LOVE seaweed salad!
How about you? You ever tried a poké bowl? What’s your favorite combination? And if you want to try it for the first time, shoot me an email … I’ll meet you on Main Street 😉
“Poké is that perfect juxtaposition of new and old. Imagine a deconstructed sushi roll yet something completely different. On one hand, poké has so many of the flavors you already love in sushi rolls. On the other hand, you decide which ingredients, flavors, and textures to mix and match. It’s a personalized dining experience mixing your imagination with your favorite flavor combinations to create the perfect bowl every time.” — Dave Tang, Co-founder Main Street Poké | 110 Wes Main St., Carmel | MainStreetPoke.com