Poke bowl: popular traditional Hawaiian dish makes it way to your table


If you haven’t had a poke bowl, you’re one on the few. The traditional Hawaiian dish is featured in restaurants and now can make its way to your home table.

Simply stated, a poke bowl contains cube-cut raw tuna, soy sauce or other dressing, vegetables and seasonings. The traditional Hawaiian dish is often served as an appetizer in Hawaiian, many people eat poke bowls as a meal. Looking at current food trends, poke bowls are one of the fastest growing trends. From restaurant menus to the home table, this Hawaiian dish is a must eat.

According to a recent GrubHub report, poke bowls are one of the most popular menu items. While more popular on the West Coast, restaurants all over are adding these dishes to their menus. More people are ordering poke bowls delivered to their homes.

Many people turn to this bowl as an alternative to other, sometimes heavier choices. During the warmer months, popular choices like burgers and barbecue, can be too much on a hot day. The Hawaiian bowl is light and refreshing on a hot day.

While a restaurant version of this food trend is delicious, anyone can make this bowl at home. With the right kitchen essentials, the bowl is rather easy to create. In a short period of time, you can make this bowl at home.

(Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for New York Magazine)

As stated before, a traditional poke uses cubed tuna, vegetables, a variety of seasonings and soy sauce or other sauce. Although tuna is traditional, octopus or even seaweed, can be used as an alternative. To ensure that this dish is flavorful, the best ingredients should be used. A sushi grade tuna is a good option, especially since the tuna is served raw. Also, fresh vegetables are a definite must.

To cube the tuna, make sure that you have a good, sharp knife. Sushi grade tuna isn’t cheap. Don’t ruin a gorgeous piece of fish with a bad knife or sloppy knife skills. While some people may have a fish knife or even a sushi knife, these specific kitchen essentials aren’t required.

A good cook’s knife, or chef’s knife, works well. A personal favorite is the Wusthof’s Cook’s Knife. This knife is a great kitchen tool for almost any situation. It is my work horse in the kitchen. Just remember to keep your knife sharp and never put it in the dishwasher. A good knife can last a lifetime, when taken care of, and can make prep work a breeze.

For all the vegetables in the dish, try a simple quick prep. For example, the Microplane Gourmet Large Shaver makes quick work of carrots, daikon, radishes and cucumbers. The super sharp stainless steel blades make beautiful vegetable ribbons. With a comfortable, easy to grip handle, the Microplane is easy to maneuver and use. Plus, I never fear that I’m going to slice off my fingers like when I’m using a mandolin.

Seasoning for a poke bowl is a blend of traditional and personal preferences. While some people prefer just soy sauce, the bowl can be customized. From a bold umami flavor with fish sauce or a spicy kick from sriracha, the choices are many. My personal favorite is a blend of soy sauce, a little ponzu and a few jalapeno slices for heat.

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If you haven’t joined the poke bowls revolution, it’s time to get with the times. This traditional Hawaiian dish isn’t going away anytime soon.