Poke, pronounced “po-kay,” is a classic Hawaiian dish made with marinated, cubed raw fish – or any other protein you prefer. Chefs are bringing their own twists to this island favorite on the mainland.
Five of our culinary partners offer poke bowls that break the mold. Take this quiz to see which poke bowl you are, so you know how to order!
1) Summer vacation time! What are you doing?
a. Hiking and camping in Yosemite
b. Sipping piña coladas on the beach
c. Eating and sipping your way around a new city
d. Relaxing at home: staycation time!
2) You’re grilling out! What’s your go-to dish?
a. Vegetable kebabs
b. A classic hamburger or hot dog
c. Can‘t go wrong with some hot chicken wings
d. Vegetarian here — bring on the Boca Burgers
3) It’s a scorcher! How do you like to cool off?
a. Spiced Kombucha
b. Lavender Lemonade
c. Jalapeño Margarita
d. Moscow Mule
4) Beach day! How are you enjoying the sand and surf?
a. Sailing out to explore an island off-shore
b. Reading under the umbrella, and maybe a little swim
c. Sun, sun, sun! It’s all about relaxing in that warmth.
d. Some yoga in the sand and a walk along the shore
Dig in, you veggie-loving adventurer! You may think that all poke bowls are fish-forward, but that’s not true. A vegetable poke bowl may be your true love. Look for something like the Beet Poke Bowl from Poke2Go in LA. This brown rice bowl has cubed beets, avocados, white onions, sesame seeds, chili flakes, carrots, and wasabi vinaigrette. If that sounds amazing, but you’re not in LA, go veggie-healthy at your local poke place. Look for a healthy bowl with enough flavor to break the mold.
You have classic summer tastes! That makes you a perfect pair with the Tuna Poke Bowl with Coconut Rice from New York’s 2nd City. The combination of sushi-grade tuna, coconut steamed rice, sweet miso, scallions, wontons, carrots, and pickled red onions is as fresh and fun as you are. If you’re not in NYC, look for other classic taste combinations, like salmon and tempura crunch.
When summer comes, you’re not afraid of a little heat! So, you’ll love the Spicy Maui Salmon Poke Bowl from Miami partner Poke-Che. This salmon-based poke comes with a kick: slivered jalapenos and spicy sriracha aioli are balanced by cucumber, cilantro, green and white onion, masago, and avocado. Outside of Miami? Look for spicy options at your local poke spot, like chili peppers or wasabi. Combine a few of them for the ultimate poke kick.
Your summers are all about living easy. So, pick the Tofu Poke Bowl from Chicago’s Firefin Poke. This bowl is bursting with the flavor of marinated tofu, ono (soy, honey, and ginger) sauce, marinated mushrooms, edamame, carrot, red cabbage, cucumber, and goji berries, over gluten-free noodles. If you’re not in the Windy City, look for poke bowls with a mellow undertone. You can look for ingredients like tahini or sesame seeds, fish roe, or nori seaweed strips.
A little bit of everything:
You like a little bit of everything, so, choose a classic with a twist. The Hana Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl from Edoko Japanese Restaurant in Berkeley is a super-charged version of the classic Pacific dish. Your taste buds will sing from the combination of cubed yellowfin tuna with masago, seaweed salad, green onion, sriracha, Japanese chili peppers, and sesame oil. You can look for a similar taste outside of the Bay area too. Try a different sauce than your usual, or add in something like macadamia nuts or pickled veggies you’ve never tried.
Poke bowls come in all varieties, so don’t be afraid to ask for something less traditional. When ordering for a group, think about adding orders of edamame, sushi, or teriyaki too, to please timid poke-palettes in your group. Of course, when they see your bowl, they may still ask you for a bite!