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Poke – A Simple And Delicious Hawaiian Dish

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November 10, 2016 / American / By
ETG - Food For Thought

We live in a world where people obsess over various things including clothes, beauty products and even food. If you think the food world does not have yearly trends, think twice. 2016 was poke year, especially in the US where this Hawaiian dish was considered a cool dish. Even though poke is popular in Hawaiian family gatherings or parties for centuries, the foodie communities decided to revamp this traditional dish and transform it into a popular, modern dish with Asian influences. The Hawaiian Poke also appeared in fine dining restaurant menus personalized by various chefs who decided it is very easy to play with the simple flavors of the dish and to give it a distinctive edge.

In case you are not familiar with poke, you have to know that this classic Hawaiian dish is a type of tuna salad. Don’t think of the classic canned tuna salad with mayo or the Nicoise salad, nope, poke is different than these two tuna salads.

Food is more than food in Hawaii so not all Hawaiians were happy about the world transforming their classic dish into a completely different thing. And, to be honest, classics are always better so don’t try to get too creative with this dish. Sometimes the best dishes are simple and don’t involve many ingredients and effort. You can however, try different types of poke like spicy ahi or shoyu ahi.

Traditionally, poke is served over a bowl of hot rice but you can serve it with quinoa or a veggie side. If you want to prepare a good poke at home, keep in mind you need simple but high quality ingredients. Poke is usually made with sashimi-grade tuna and sometimes salmon so before shopping for poke ingredients make sure you find a place where you can buy fresh fish.

Classic Ahi Poke

Image source: Serious Eats

For a classic ahi poke, you’ll need deep red, cleanly-butchered, sashimi-grade tuna with lean meat; Maui onions or, if you cannot find Maui onions, any type of sweet onions; seaweeds – dried hijiki or wakame and seasoning. It sounds simple but flavorful, isn’t it?

Now, if you want to make a classic ahi poke, check Serious Eats’ recipe and make sure after tossing all the ingredients together you let the poke rest for a few minutes before serving it. The flavors and textures will be better if you make the poke only a few minutes before serving. You can serve this type of poke at a party or you can enjoy it as a meal on top of rice.

Now if you really loved the classic recipe and you want to share your poke love with your friends you can through a poke party and prepare different poke recipes with modern influences or with different types of fish.

Serious Eats has many delicious poke recipes you can try and we highly recommend them since they are easy to make, delicious and quite creative.

Salmon Poke With Macadamia Nuts and Fried Shallots

Image source: Serious Eats

After we tried the classic, we decided a little bit of variation won’t hurt our Hawaiian friends’ feelings so we made this Salmon Poke with Macadamia Nuts and Fried Shallots. Salmon is not a Hawaiian fish but it is perfect for a raw fish salad especially if you love its specific taste and flavors.

Hamachi Poke With Cucumber and Avocado

Image source: Serious Eats

This Hamachi Poke is another poke recipe from Serious Eats we really love. The cucumber and avocado are perfect companions for the raw sashimi-grade Hamachi. Made with lemon zest and olive oil, this Hamachi Poke with Cucumber and Avocado is a light and fresh version of the classic ahi poke.

Octopus Poke With Kimchi

The last poke recipe we tried is this Octopus Poke with Kimchi and we absolutely loved the way the Asian flavors were added into this Hawaiian dish without compromising its simplicity and flavors.

In the end, we love the fact that food trends lead us to discover the flavors of various regions and we think you'll love our food adventures as much as we do. We also love to read our foodies’ input on various traditional foods so if you have a favorite poke recipe you’d love to share with us, please join our community.


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$$$ = fine dining,etc

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