Aloha, folks! Today, I want to talk a little bit about poke. What is poke and how is it different than a poke bowl? Let's get into it!
Poke is Hawaiian for "to slice" or "cut crosswise into pieces." Basically, it is diced raw fish served either as an appetizer or a main course and is a very popular dish in Hawaii. Traditional forms are aku (skipjack tuna) and heʻe or tako (octopus). Poke is different from other raw fish dishes in that it does not use citrus fruits as a curing agent. I love poke and my favorite is ahi poke.
The traditional Hawaiian poke consists of fish that has been gutted, skinned, and deboned. Traditional Hawaiian poke may consist of cubed raw fish, maui onions, inamona (roasted, crushed, and salted candlenut), green onions, and/or sesame oil. It is served with traditional condiments such as Hawaiian sea salt and limu.
Modern Hawaiian versions of traditional poke seasonings have been heavily influenced by Japanese and other Asian cuisines. On the mainland especially, poke bowls have become popular. Poke bowls are different in that there is rice at the bottom then topped with the poke and all the fixins. While poke bowls are just fine, I prefer having them without the rice. Which would you try?