These days, it seems like we can’t step outside without encountering at least four or five poke spots. This Hawaiian raw fish dish, pronounced “poh-keh,” refers to chopped ahi tuna served with various seasonings and toppings. It’s eaten throughout Hawaii, and has most recently taken cities by storm in the form of (you guessed it) a bowl! You know it’s more fun to eat meals in bowl form. To show the versatility of the rice-based poke bowl, we’ve come up with myriad ways to mix this dish up, with multiple bases, toppings, fish choices, and sauces. Okay (poke), let’s do this thing.
As with any bowl, you’ve gotta start with a base. Though the traditional poke bowl base is generally white rice, feel free to swap in mixed greens or brown rice instead.
For a lighter approach, we love starting a bowl off with some fresh greens. If you do, stick with a heartier variety (think kale or romaine), as delicate lettuces can easily get bruised or soggy.
Pro tip: add a little rice wine vinegar to cooked sushi or jasmine rice for an even more flavorful base for your bowl.
We can never get enough of the hearty chewiness of brown rice. And, it’s extra-good at soaking up all those tasty sauces and marinades.
The fish is, of course, the essential component in poke. Cube it up and drizzle one of the sauces or marinades on top.
Ahi, or yellowfin tuna, is the classic fish used in poke. Since you’ll be serving it raw, make sure to purchase the highest quality (sushi grade) tuna that you can find. Slice the tuna into small cubes before serving.
If tuna’s not your favorite, stick to salmon, but also try and purchase sushi grade, as you won’t be cooking it. Slice the salmon into small cubes before serving.
Though it’s the traditional way, you don’t have to go raw with your poke bowl. If you prefer a cooked fish, try serving seared shrimp atop your bowl. No need to cube it, though.
Sauces and dressings are essential to a tasty poke bowl, and we’re featuring some of our favorite Asian-inspired Plated signatures. Drizzle a sauce or marinade over the fish before serving so it marinates slightly, and finish it all off with extra dressing and some Sriracha mayo on top!
Spicy Peanut Dressing
Earthy, nutty, and slightly spicy, this dressing is a perfect choice for tossing a Poké bowl in. Feel free to mix up the amount of gochujang, depending on your spice preference.
2 limes, juiced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
½ cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon gochujang chile paste
4 tablespoons hot water
Vietnamese Nuoc Cham Dressing
This bright yet bold dressing is our super-simple version of the Vietnamese sauce that coats our favorite rice noodle salads. It makes a terrific dressing for a poké bowl, just don’t use it as a marinade before hand.
2 fresh bird’s eye chiles, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 limes, juiced
½ cup fish sauce
¼ cup cup packed light brown sugar
Sesame Soy Ginger Marinade
Ginger and garlic ring through in this multi-purpose marinade that we use on everything from shellfish to vegetables to meat. Drizzle it over your fish before serving.
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
¾ cup greek yogurt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
Stir together a little mayonnaise and some Sriracha for a spicy yet creamy topping that can be easily customized according to spice preference. We recommend this one on top of the poké bowl in addition to one of the dressings or sauces above.
Peel and thinly slice two to four large shallots (each shallot will make about .25 cup fried shallots). Heat 2 cups canola oil in a small pot over medium high. Then, add the shallots and cook, stirring, until they turn golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Quick Pickled Cucumbers
Cut a cucumber into thin slices and place in a medium bowl with 1 cup rice wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and a pinch of salt. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes then drain and serve.
Lightly toast white or black sesame seed and sprinkle over your bowl.
Spoon over store-bought seaweed salad for a bright green, textural addition to your poké.
Cube an avocado and sprinkle over juice of .5 lime. Combine with cubed fish or serve on top.
Thinly slice white and green parts of scallions for a fresh, aromatic topping.
Tear or thinly slice pieces of nori (seaweed) for a nutty, sushi-inspired mix-in.