The famous Poke Bowl from Hawaii to our dishes in Belgium
Poke is the Hawaiian word for «cutting». Well, the poke bowls have arrived to our plates in Belgium and all over the world. Ready to make us fall in love with this North American island delicacy that mixes rice and raw fish and other ingredients but it's not sushi.
Poke bowls are a Hawaiian dish, mainly composed of rice and raw fish pieces to which are added other condiments and ingredients such as sesame seeds, chives or wasabi. It is likely that you have already heard of this dish, since it has been introduced in the menus of many restaurants. There even are spaces dedicated only to these Hawaiian bowls, probably the result of its fresh and healthy character.
However, it is perhaps important to note that poke bowls are a recent phenomenon, rivaling at heart the traditional Japanese chirashi bowls - the main difference between them lies in the way the fish is cut (cubes vs. slices), as well as the seasoning and fish used. The poke itself is actually recent: the 1970s are reported as its date of origin.
So what is the secret to a good poke bowl?
The ingredients, of course.
The base is usually rice, which can be served hot, making a good contrast to the cold, raw fish. However, you can always twist your poke bowl and choose a quinoa base, for example.
Then the fish. Tuna and salmon are the most common and can be served raw or marinated (in sesame oil, soy sauce, chives, or sea salt, for example), with white fish, octopus, or even cooked seafood (such as shrimp) can be good options for dicing and mixing with your rice.
Once the protein is chosen, we reach the part where you can let your imagination run wild: the accompaniments. From wasabi balls to seaweed, cherry tomatoes to Jalapeno, cucumber to mango, the options are many and vary depending on your taste and what you are looking for in the dish.
Finally, the sauce. Soy is a common option, but there are those who opt for something spicier such as sriracha, which is made of chilies, garlic, vinegar, salt and sugar and can be found in supermarkets.
From Hawaii to Belgium (via the US and with Asian influences), this dish seems to have come to stay.