Know your ahi from your he’e – breaking down Hawaii’s poke bowl selection
ByGet ready to experience summer in every mouthful as you tuck into a tasty poke bowl. This is a dish that combines rice and fresh fish to create a meal that’s guaranteed to appeal to everyone, regardless of whether you’re a die-hard seafood lover or not. That is the nature of food travel; using your taste buds to explore the world of gastronomy.
A celebration of fresh ingredients
Although the poke bowl as we know it today is a fairly modern invention, this dish has been around in some form or another for centuries in Hawaii. ‘Poke’ is a native word meaning ‘to slice’. This refers to the manner in which the ingredients are prepared. Although this dish was incredibly plain at first, a breakthrough was made in the 1800s when chefs in the region began adding a variety of sauces to it. Not only did this make it more succulent but it also enhanced the overall flavour of the dish.
The poke bowl became a global sensation in the 1970s, when increasing numbers of Americans began visiting the Hawaiian islands for their vacations. However, in late 2012, this dish became a viral sensation that allowed it to become the well-loved foodie favourite it is now.
How it’s made
All chefs who make a variety of poke bowl have different strategies. However, the basic idea is the same. First, fragrant and sticky sushi rice is cooked and flavoured with salt, sugar and rice wine vinegar before being placed into a deep bowl. This is then topped with sliced fish, vegetables, and avocado. Finally, the dish is seasoned with finely sliced dried seaweed, soy sauce, pickled ginger and inamona, a Hawaiian condiment made from roasted and salted candlenuts. Some chefs may garnish their dishes with a sprinkling of sesame oil, sesame seeds, chopped scallions and lime juice.
How to complement the flavour
The flavours that you get from this dish are often rather delicate. This is why it’s important not to consume any overwhelmingly strong drinks with your meal. Instead, you could opt for a zesty glass of white wine. Not only is it a great way to clear your palate before you tuck in, but it’s also great for enhancing the natural flavours of the ingredients.
Visit these restaurants for a taste of Hawaii
If you find yourself craving a delectable poke bowl then you’re in luck as there is a selection of outstanding restaurants that serve these dishes. Try these fish dishes at Poke Lulu or Ju Ju Pokebowl. Just remember that it’s essential for these dishes to be prepared with the freshest ingredients so it is best to visit restaurants that take pride in the quality of the dishes they produce.