Poke is a Hawaiian word that means “to slice” or “cut crosswise into pieces” and that’s what exactly this dish is, a Hawaiian traditional dish prepared with seafood such as aku (an oily tuna) and heʻe (octopus) that is cut into small pieces then served with condiments such as slat, candlenuts, seaweeds, limu and ground roasted kukui nut meat where it is either served as an appetizer or as a main course.
Poke is one of the oldest dishes in Hawaii, in fact it’s so old its origin dates to pre-contact times, when ancient Hawaiians prepared and feasted on freshly caught fish seasoned with sea salt, seaweed and crushed inamona or kukui nuts. Then the dish started to evolve as every new culture from other countries migrated to Hawaii, starting with the ships from the West Coast traded salmon for salt. Then immigrants China and Japan introduced soy sauce and sesame oil. Then as a new group arrives brining in their culture a new ingredient is added into the mix which brings us to the present form of poke that became popular around the 1970s in the region. Then around 2012 popularity reached mainland and making it even more modern like the addition of avocado, mushrooms, crispy onions, pickled jalapeño, pineapple, corn and cucumber, plus an array of sauces like ponzu, teriyaki, sriracha and kewpie mayo was introduced, then the rest was history.
Today we are making one and I guess this is a representative of what is popular in New Zealand hence we have salmon as the main protein alongside favourite Kiwi ingredients like surimi salad and seaweed salad. It’s a nice dish, an all in one complete meal that may look over the top, but it works. How about you how would you make your own Poke bowl.
- 4½ cups freshly cooked sushi rice
- 450 g fresh salmon fillets, cubed and lightly salted
- ¾ cup cooked and shelled edamame
- ¾ cup cooked corn kernels
- ¾ cup sliced cucumber
- ¾ cup surimi salad
- ¾ cup seaweed salad
- sriracha mayo
- toasted sesame
- Divide freshly cooked sushi rice into three large bowls.
- Carefully place toppings on top of rice
- Drizzle some sriracha mayonnaise, furikake and toasted sesame seeds. Serve.