Breaking Down the Poke Bowl: What Is It and How Do You Make It?

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Breaking Down the Poke Bowl

What’s fresh, delicious, and trendy? Poke bowls, otherwise known as the rice bowls full of super fresh fish and colorful toppings. Although gaining popularity and social media traction recently, the bowls have been around for a while.

"Poke bowls started to emerge around the 1970s when Hawaiian fishermen would use the simple recipe to create hearty snacks," says Jack Liang, partner at The PokéSpot in N.Y.C.

Poke bowls have been a big deal in Sydney and Melbourne for some time now but they continue to be an exciting alternative to traditional salads and provide a nutritious and tasty meal with plenty of local chefs taking an original approach to this classic Hawaiian dish.

And they’re incredibly easy to make, and can incorporate many ingredients making an ideal addition to the specials board. At its most basic level, a poke bowl is made up of a base, typically rice or noodles, cubed raw sushi-grade salmon or tuna, and Asian toppings like soy sauce and seaweed. But fear not, you can sub in other options like cooked chicken, crab, or tofu, if you’re not feeling the fish vibe.

The beauty of the Poke is that, like your favorite chopped salad, they can really be as simple or as adventurous as you want.

In Australia we have also seen south east Asian and Japanese and Korean influences creeping in to the Poke creation.

For example, the Poke at the Three Blue Ducks in Sydney is a healthy kimchi and brown rice take on the Hawaiian raw fish trend.

Three Blue Ducks

And at the Fishbowl Poke & Sashimi Bar in Bondi customers can construct their own creation from the freshest of ingredients.

Fishbowl Poke & Sashimi Bar in Bondi

With the onset of spring and the summertime approaching the Poke bowl sensations is set to continue for some time to come.

Simple Poke Bowl Recipe

Step 1

Cook the rice using your rice cooker.

When cooked, stir in the sushi seasoning.

Step 2

Combine tuna, shallot, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, sesame seeds and chilli in a glass or ceramic bowl.

Set aside for 5 minutes to marinate.

Step 3

Place the rice into the serving bowl and top with tuna mixture and avocado. Garnish with the pickled ginger and perhaps wonton wrappers.

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