What is a poke bowl?

Pronounced ‘poh-kay’, poke bowls are all the rage right now. Poke means ‘to slice or cut’ in Hawaiian and is essentially a deconstructed sushi, with chunks of fresh, raw fish, such as ahi tuna or salmon, served with rice, veggies and soy sauce. This colourful, fun and simple dish tastes great and it’s good for you too. Poke bowls are packed full of vitamins; from D and C, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, not to mention the omega oils from the fish.

Traditionally a Hawaiian dish, it marries together all the delicious aspects we love about sushi, with some modern flavours. Salty, sweet, spicy, it’s the ultimate umami meal. It’s one of those food trends everyone can enjoy, and is a great option for gluten free, dairy free or vegetarian people, as there are so many tasty combinations to try out.

Feel like building your own poke at home for yourself? Well you’re in luck! They’re easy to construct and you can mix and match ingredients to suit your tastes. Check out our handy infographic below for a quick guide on assembling your poke bowl and start creating one today! You’ll be as good as the poke restaurants in no time.

How to make a poke bowl infographic

The essentials of a great poke bowl

A great poke bowl should look as good as it tastes. It’s all about the balance of flavours and texture, so make sure to include something creamy, crunchy, fresh, salty and sweet! These essentials will have you poke bowl-ing like the experts. Check out our tips below to build your own delicious poke bowl at work or at home.

Pick your base

There are so many varieties of poke bowl bases to pick from, including delicious options for special dietary requirements. Jasmine white rice, white sushi rice, brown rice, quinoa, farro, soba noodles, zucchini noodles, leafy greens, wild rice, couscous or cauliflower rice. Keep your toppings in mind when you decide on a base, so the flavours remain harmonious.

Pick a protein

For a classic bowl, choose fresh raw fish, like ahi tuna, salmon, kingfish or trout. Other popular protein options include chicken, prawns, crabs or scallops. If you’re after a vegan or vegetarian option try mushrooms, tofu, tempeh, edamame, beans or chickpeas.

If you opt for fish, ensure it is fresh and sushi grade, and appropriate to eat raw. Either cut it into fillets and then into cubes, or thinly slice. Whatever you decide, always cut with the grain of the fish.

Pick a dressing

Choose a dressing that will complement and not overpower the bowl’s ingredients.

  • Miso
  • Sweet chilli
  • Wasabi aioli
  • Sesame oil
  • Spicy mayo
  • Ponzu sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Siracha
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Rice vinegar

Pick your garnishes and veggies

The choices are endless!

Fresh fruit and veggies: try sliced avocado, bean sprouts, edamame, radish, pineapple, mango, shredded carrots, beetroot, cucumber or peppers.

Nuts and seeds: try almonds, macadamia nuts, roasted peanuts or toasted sesame seeds.

Add some spice: add some heat to your poke bowl with crushed wasabi peas, chillies, jalapenos or pepper flakes.

Onions: spring onions, sweet onion, red onion, garlic chips or fried shallots.

Pickles: pickled ginger, shiitake mushrooms, red onions or cucumber.

Seaweed: nori sheets or seaweed salad for a fresh touch.

Poke bowl combinations to try out

Now you have the ingredients lined up, try these poke recipe inspiration for your next bowl.

  • Hawaiian ahi tuna poke: fresh tuna mixed with green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli garlic sauce, topped with sesame seeds for crunch. A traditional Hawaiian poke bowl recipe placed on top of white sushi rice.
  • Spicy salmon avocado poke: cube or thinly slice raw salmon and toss with soy sauce, chilli and garlic water, sesame oil and sriracha sauce. Add ground sesame seeds and cashews and serve on top of rice. Garnish with some fresh and creamy avocado.
  • California poke bowl: Crab legs, avocado, tuna and green onion topped with spicy mayo and seaweed make this delicious bowl a deconstructed California roll. A twist on a classic fav. Yum!
  • Avocado and edamame poke bowl: A delicious veggie salad option! Toss edamame with green onions, soy sauce and sesame oil. Season with some salt and chilli to taste and top with crunchy nori sheets and pickled ginger.
  • Shiitake mushroom poke: lime, garlic, ginger and chilli combined with sesame oil and soy sauce, to marinade some fresh shiitake mushrooms. Add some firm tofu for extra protein and serve over some brown rice, garnished with fresh chilli and mint leaves. A perfect option for vegetarians.
  • Tofu poke bowl: build a tasty vegan poke bowl with brown rice, tofu, baby beetroot, radish, pickled shredded carrots, rice vinegar, mirin and sesame oil. Scatter nori and seaweed crackers.
tasty poke bowl corporate catering

Feeling inspired? Why not order poke bowls for your team?

A corporate catering company like EatFirst can deliver you fresh and delicious poke bowls, perfect for staff lunch, working lunch or even corporate events. For healthy catering that will satisfy, EatFirst is your ultimate corporate catering service. Need some inspiration or menu recommendations? Give our catering experts a call on 020 3890 2200 or get a free quote online.

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