What is a Poké Bowl? 

While it may seem like a must-have food trend, the traditional Hawaiian dish, known as the poké bowl, has already been around for centuries. Their freshly caught fish is eaten raw either on its own or over a bowl of rice becoming kind of like deconstructed sushi. 

Unlike sashimi, where the fish is sliced thin and long, poké is cut into thick cubes. In fact, poké in Hawaiian means to chunk, as the word poké comes from the verb 'slice or cut'. Hence here comes the name of the dish. Traditional version would be seasoned with native limu, a type of sea algae, along with crushed kukui nuts (candlenuts). Nowadays, due to Western influence, raw fish is mainly marinated in soy and sesame oil and seasoned with different ingredients such as scallions and chillies.

Create Your Own Poké Bowl 

Spoon University

The best part about poké bowls is how creative you can get with it. Ahi tuna, or yellowfin tuna are some of the most common choices that get marinated in soya sauce, sesame oil and spices. Make sure your fish is a high-quality grade, doesn’t smell fishy, and you eat it as soon as possible after purchasing. Some quality and tasty wild Alaskan salmon could be awesome too. 

rice, chicken
Bridget Muckian

Though raw fish is the most important ingredient in a poké bowl you can also swap it for baked fish, or tofu as a vegan alternative.

You can replace regular white rice for brown rice or even cauliflower rice. Next, topping options are endless. Play around by adding some seaweed salad, crunchy crackers, and even pickled ginger and wasabi for a more intense flavour.

sauce, curry, tofu, teriyaki, butter, peanut butter, rice, chicken, peanut
Alex Kaneshiro

When it comes to dressings, be generous with sriracha or some creamy mayo added to the bowl. Don’t be afraid to get creative! If you're in need of some extra inspiration, check out this guide for DIY Poké Bowls to help get you started.

It's also popping up on menus all over the place, with various twists from the chefs. Here in Amsterdam, there are hundreds of places to get hold of some raw fish but only two where you can get your poké fix: Poké Perfect and the recently opened Temakery. But don't worry if raw fish isn’t your thing. They also offer cooked chicken and boiled shrimp as protein options, and you can even ask for quinoa instead of rice.

If this sounds good to you, let’s get pokéd.