There is no denying that raw fish dishes are becoming not only palatable but greatly desired by food lovers everywhere. Traditionally well-known dishes like ceviche, sashimi and sushi are good and fine, but society demands culinary innovation. Born is the sushi burrito (sushirrito), basically a hand roll on steroids. However, it is about time that the greatest raw fish dish takes center stage. Its name is poke.
Poke (pronounced po-kay) is the Hawaiian word meaning to cut into pieces. The magic of poke originated in Hawaiʻi. Fresh fish, usually ahi tuna (or other fish and seafood like tako, or octopus) is cut up into chopstick-able sized cubes, then seasoned in a variety of ways.
The best thing about poke is that it is a feel good, celebratory food. Going to the beach? Chee hoo, letʻs get some poke. Headed to the University of Hawaiʻi football game? Gotta go Foodland and pick up some poke for the tailgate. Having dinner at grandmaʻs house? We cannot go if we no more poke. Pau (Hawaiian word for finished) work or school? Poke is your reward.
After being away for a semester, Hawaiʻi kids cannot wait to be home and have a poke bowl. Everything linked to poke is positive and full of aloha spirit, plus it is super ʻono (Hawaiian for delicious). With poke, you cannot go wrong.
Here are 10 pictures of poke that will leave you wondering why it took so long for poke to rock your world.
Poke can be simply seasoned with Hawaiian salt, sesame seeds and sesame oil, green onion and soy sauce. Here, we have both salmon and tuna.
This wasabi masago poke gets the perfect punch from the wasabi and salty crunch from the masago.
Spicy ahi (or spicy tuna) on the left is made with a spicy mayo sauce. The cool, creamy plus the heat makes this a favorite. The shoyu ahi on the right uses a soy and ginger base to achieve a savory, addictive flavor.
Pa'ina Cafe at the Ward Village Shops in Kaka'ako, Honolulu: Review from @cherishauoholani ~ Hot shoyu ahi poke bowl with multigrain rice, teri glaze, crunchy tempura flakes, furikake, and taegu ????❤ #HiLife #PainaCafe #WeAreWard #Foodgasm @808plate definitely 5 Shaka's! 10 if I could!!!! ~ Mahalo for the review @cherishauoholani ? Pa'ina Cafe also has another location in Koko Marina.
Topped with sweet, spicy and salty taegu (seasoned codfish) and tempura crunch, this poke hits all the flavor and texture profiles.
Cold poke paired with hot rice is a guarantee grand slam.
Poke at the beach is an island favorite. Salty toes and salty lips just seem to go hand in hand. Pictured is tako (Japanese word for octopus) poke. It is similarly seasoned, however, the tako is first cooked.
Fish and poi (pounded taro mixed with water) is a staple. Throw in a beer and you have a perfect, post beach/surf/work meal. Perfect comfort food.