“Pokemon Go” is all the rage right now, but in kitchens across America, so are poke bowls.
Poke is the raw fish salad from Hawaii that might make you think of ceviche, but it’s actually quite different, in both ingredients and technique.
Unlike ceviche, the raw fish in poke — most often ahi, or yellowfin tuna — is not “cooked” in lime juice. The cubes of fish are marinated in sesame oil, soy sauce and a number of other ingredients that vary from home to home and island to island in Hawaii.
Now that sashimi-grade tuna is widely available in the continental U.S., cooks are making poke using high-end fish and other ingredients they can find in grocery stores near them. Fresh tuna is ideal, and frozen works, too, but avoid tuna that has lots of white connective tissue in the meat. White rice is the traditional bed on which the marinated tuna rests, while some people prefer chopped cucumbers or vermicelli noodles.
When I was checking out the #Austin360Cooks photos that readers have been posting in the past week, I was surprised to see as many poke bowls as grilled peaches. And who is to say you couldn’t put grilled peaches in a poke bowl?
In fact, Amanda Harville’s husband used peaches in a poke he made last week and served on a bed of rice. (She’s @modestvail on Instagram.) Just a few days later, the family behind @thefoodiekids made a poke bowl with mango, black sesame seeds, cucumber, avocado, peanuts, a little cilantro and thin slices of jalapeños.
Peter Tsai (@supertsai) posted before and after pictures of his poke, a dish he’s been making for long before it was the Insta-dish du jour. He said he likes to get his tuna and salmon from Quality Seafood and insists that the key ingredient for really great poke is avocado. Nicolai McCrary (@thenicolai) served his poke on top of avocado slices and with a seaweed salad on the side.
What new dishes have you been trying lately? Share your photos on Instagram with #Austin360Cooks. Each Wednesday, we run some of our favorites in the print food section.