When all your coastal friends are posting pictures of their poke bowls from all the trendy restaurants/food trucks, but you’re stuck in Texas, you just gotta suck it up and make one yourself. After doing a little research, I learned that poke means “to cut” or “to slice,” and that it’s pronounced po-KAY, not po-KEY. Anyways, it is so fresh, delicious and oh so pretty, so I decided to give it a whirl. Guess what? It’s EASY!! You basically just make a little marinade for the fish, dump it over rice, and garnish with whatever you want!
This is perfect dish to have after a holiday. I don’t know about you, but I use any holiday as a great excuse to eat whatever I want, and indulge in all the yummy things my tummy desires. Christmas and Thanksgiving are definitely the front runners, but July 4th is not far behind. After all those burgers and and amazing sides, I I think we can all use something a little fresh and healthy.
After doing a few of these posts, I’m starting to really see a trend with my food- I like things that are easy to make, things that give you tons of wiggle room in terms of ingredients, and things that you can be creative with. This is no exception. Let’s get started!
The basic ingredients are rice, vegetables, and cubes of raw fish. I bought already cut little cubes of sushi grade fish from H-mart (asian grocery store). You can definitely go to your local market and ask the people behind the fish counter to cut some sushi grade fish of choice into 1/2 inch cubes; you want about 1/2 a pound per serving, depending on how big your appetite is. I used a mixture a fish, but you can do all tuna, all salmon, or any combination of fish. In a bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients, and mix in the sushi cubes and let it sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
Side note about ginger: fresh ginger is one of those things that I never want to buy because it’s not thought of as an everyday ingredient, but when I have it, I put it in everything. The way I go about it is that I buy a pretty decent sized nub of it, clean it up/remove the peel and toss it in the freezer. You can take the peel off with a vegetable peeler, paring knife, or spoon. Once it’s frozen you can just grate it easily into whatever you need (it grates like snow!).
The marinade is a perfect balance of salty from the soy sauce and zingy from the ginger, rounded out with the deep flavor of sesame oil. I don’t think traditional poke marinades include cilantro, but I’m a superfan of it, so I put it in whatever I can. If you’re cilantro-adversed, you’re a weirdo, and I’m heavily judging you…just kidding; but really, you should give it another chance. Anyways, if you’re stubborn, you can leave it out.
I ate my poke over rice, which is the traditional way, but feel free to switch it up with some quinoa, cauliflower rice, etc. I used sushi rice, and just followed the instructions on the bag for the rice to water ratio, and let my rice cooker do all the work. Start your rice first because it takes the longest. Then make and marinate your fish. Then while it’s marinating, prepare all your veggies.
To assemble it, put a portion (about 1/2 pound per serving) of the poke on whatever vehicle you choose, and arrange your veggies as you please. I chose to use cucumbers, carrots, radishes, cilantro, green onions, jalapeños, edamame beans, pickled ginger, and avocados. I also made a little sauce to go over top. I mixed some greek yogurt, cho gochujang (korean hot paste), sugar, garlic powder, and salt, and put a glop over the whole thing (you can do a pretty drizzle if you feel so inclined). You could also sub sriracha for a subtly different, but still spicy taste.
(NOTE: use rice that has cooled down a little. I scooped my rice into the bowls and let it sit out for about 20 minutes before assembly. The contrast between steaming hot rice and raw fish and fresh vegetables didn’t sound too appealing to me).
And there you have it! Although poke bowls are super trendy and cool looking, it’s nothing to shy away from making yourself. It’s very easy, requires no cooking (great for this summer heat), and is deliciously nutritious!
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1.5 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp grated ginger*
- 2 stalks green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantry, chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds**
- 1 tbsp furikake (optional)
- 1 lb sushi grade fish cut in 1/2-inch cubes
- Sushi rice (mixed in with a splash of rice vinegar, optional)
- Vegetables of choice- here's what I used
- 2 cucumbers
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks green onion
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 radishes
- 1/2 jalepeno
- 1/4 cup shelled edamame beans
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- 3-4 tsp cho gochujang***, or more to taste
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt to taste
- In a medium bowl, mix soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, furikake (if using). Mix in your sushi cubes. Let marinate for about 10 minutes in the fridge.
- Place rice that has been cooled down in a bowl, and place about 1/2 lb sushi per bowl. Serve with vegetables of choice.
- For the sauce, mix all ingredients, and season to taste. Drizzle over your poke bowl.
- Extra garnishes can include additional scallions, dried seaweed or more furikake, pickled ginger.
- * You can sub 1/4 tsp dried ginger if you want
- **You can use regular or black sesame seeds, but whichever you choose, I recommend using roasted sesame sees
- *** Cho gochujang is a korean pepper paste. I think it pairs deliciously with the dish, so if you have access to it, try it. If not, you can sub sriracha.