How To Make Your Own Poke Bowl, the Wildly Popular Fish Dish from Hawaii

Welcome to the hottest food trend of the moment: The poke bowl. This dish is so trendy right now, entire restaurants are devoted to it (and no wonder, since meals in a bowl have been trending for a while). But if you prefer to DIY, we’ve created a really simple, super-delicious poke recipe for you to try.

First things first, a few things you need to know:

1. It’s pronounced poh-KAY.

2. The origin of the current popular presentation is up for debate, but the word “poke” is Hawaiian and means “to cut crosswise into pieces,” according to Honolulu magazine.

3. Poke is traditionally made with raw tuna, cut into small cubes, and seasoned with different ingredients, often soy sauce, scallions, and sesame oil. But the seasonings can vary based on your taste, the fish can be cooked, and you can use other ingredients instead of fish; there isn’t one “right” way to make it.

4. It’s often served over rice, but that’s also open to interpretation.

For our poke recipe we chose to use wild-caught salmon instead of tuna, to give the dish a twist and also for the omega-3s.

A tip about using raw fish: Only do so if you’re certain the fish is sushi-grade. Buy it from a reputable fishmonger, and ask them specifically if it’s safe to use for a raw preparation. (For example, I asked at the fish counter of my local Whole Foods, and was told they don’t carry sushi-grade fish at that particular location, though they do elsewhere. So I went to my local fishmonger, John Addis at Brooklyn’s Fish Tales, and he explained in great detail where the fish came from, when it was caught, and how it was handled. That’s a trusty fish guy.) If you’re not sure, or you’re simply not comfortable, no problem: Just give the fish a quick sear.

Salmon Poke Bowl

Serves: 4

1/3 cup tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) or soy sauce

2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

2 tsp. mirin

¼ tsp. sriracha, or more to taste, optional

2 cups cooked sushi rice or brown rice

12 oz. sushi-grade wild salmon, cut into cubes

1 medium English cucumber (about 11 oz.), halved, thinly sliced into half moons

2 large carrots (about 8 oz. total), shredded

1 cup shredded Napa or green cabbage (about 3 oz.)

1 large avocado, peeled, seed removed, cubed

Chopped scallions, for serving, optional

Sesame seeds, for serving, optional

  1. In a bowl, whisk together tamari, vinegar, sesame oil, and sriracha, if desired.
  2. Divide rice among 4 bowls. Toss salmon with 2 Tbsp. tamari mixture; place on top of rice in one section of each bowl. In sections, place cucumber, carrots, cabbage and avocado on top of rice. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds, if desired. Pass remaining tamari dressing and additional sriracha on the side.

Note: Feel free to swap in another grain, such as quinoa, or leave the grain out. Change the vegetables as well, depending on your taste and what you have on hand.

Beth Lipton

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