Main Street Poké–And How to Make Your Own Bowl

Seafood Lesson #10: You don’t have to use raw fish to make a poké bowl.

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 poké. 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 recently.

Hoedeopbap_(raw_fish_rice_bowl)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 😉 Here’s how you can make one at home:


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add your veggies: carrots, cucumber corn, peppers, onion … I did everything green. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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?

Coming up next on the blog …more seafood school lessons!   

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DISCLAIMER: I’m a writer and an editor. And I try my best to make sure every post is articulate and free from errors. However, being that I edit my own work—and it’s next to impossible to properly edit your own work—I admit, occasionally there may be an error or two I miss. But doing so doesn’t make me an idiot so don’t be mean. Just smile, pat yourself on the back for finding an error and be glad you’re not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes … yes, even mermaids slip up every now and then. xoxox