Poke shops are popping up within miles of each other like Starbucks all across Southern California, so why not know how to order Poke like a true professional. As an avid Poke eater (seriously, I go at least three times a week), I am here to help. With the right base, fish, sauce and toppings, you will be ready try out the delicious trend.

1. Base

chicken, caesar salad, salad
Anna Roccucci

After you make your choice between white or brown rice (they are different), you have the option of adding greens, kale or kelp noodles. While these are healthy additions to your bowl, make sure to save room for all of the fish and yummy toppings. 

2. Fish

bacon, lobster
Anna Roccucci

The most popular choice is Ahi Tuna as it is the least fishy in taste and has a meaty texture. There is also Spicy Tuna available for $1 more. Salmon, my personal favorite, is not as fishy as lox, but it has a subtle fish flavor.

The wild card is Octopus (yes, I tried it for the sake of research). It is salty, fishy and has a chewy texture that can be a nice change from the popular choices of Ahi Tuna or Salmon. You can also opt for Tofu if you aren't ready for raw fish just yet.

3. Sauce 

Anna Roccucci

Shoyu is salty like soy sauce and sweet like a traditional teriyaki. Spicy Shoyu is also sweet but has a little more kick. Sauces that are more acidic are Yuzu Ponzu with its rice vinegar base, and Lemon Juice.

Go with Spicy Vinaigrette or add Sriracha if you want to add some heat (you can mix and match as many sauces as you wish). 

4. Seasoning

coffee, tea
Anna Roccucci

For extra flavor, you can add Chili Flakes, Sesame Seeds for texture and crunch, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to compliment the fish, or Furikake, which is a blend of dried seaweed, sesame seeds, and other spices.

5. Aoili

Anna Roccucci

Adding an aoili brings creaminess and even more flavor to your bowl. Wasabi Aoili compliments any fish just like mixing wasabi into your soy sauce with sushi.

Siracha Aoili adds a more subtle heat, and Coconut Aoili adds a hint of sweetness. 

6. Toppings

Anna Roccucci

There are many options such as Avocado (of course it's a dollar extra), Edamame, Seaweed, OnionCucumberJalapeñoMango, Green Onion and Tobiko (fish eggs). Choose as many toppings as you like, you really can't go wrong.

avocado, cucumber, salad
Anna Roccucci

#SpoonTip: At the Mainland Poke locations, Blue Crab is available for $1 extra, and it's worth it if you are looking for a meatier, more familiar protein.

Next time you find yourself walking by a Poke shop, step inside with your head held high and order with confidence. Soon enough you'll perfect your bowl and know how to order Poke like a true professional.