Poke: Amazing Salad of Raw Fish and Non-Fish
Raw fish salad is an Hawaiian origin, becoming a popular appetizer among American palates across the mainland since 2012. Now, with the mushrooming of Hawaiian restaurants, the number has so far doubled. Its strong flavors are really awakening appetites
Called Poke, which is Hawaiian for “to section” or also ‘chunk’, the dish is not only an appetizer but can be considered main dish. Traditional poke (pronounced poh-KAY and rhymes with okay) is oily tuna and octopus. Poke was typically any meat or seafood cut into small chunks and marinated. Nowadays, it is generally seafood. Marinated seafood has long been consumed by locals, especially those living close to the sea.
The traditional Hawaiian poke consists of fish that has been gutted, skinned, and deboned. It is sliced across the backbone as fillet, then served with condiments such as sea salt, candlenut, seaweed, and algae. Considered traditional also are raw pieces of tuna cut into cubes, then marinated with soy sauce and sesame oil and mixed with onion.
There are now many variations of the style. Poke doesn’t necessarily have to be tuna or even seafood, does not have to be raw or cubed or scraped. It can also be cooked or raw. It doesn’t even have to be fish or seafood. Poke can be made using octopus, poke that is dressed with a creamy mayonnaise and poke garnished with kimchi or wasabi. These have resulted from the strong influences of Japanese and Korean cuisines.
Asian cuisines have captivated the American palate dramatically over the last couple decades. Westerners love firstly Chinese and Japanese; now Thai, Korean and Filipino are gaining. It’s quite natural that Hawaiian cuisine, which is directly influenced by many of these cultures, would slowly gain in popularity.
Awakening Appetites in Lynnwood
Experience Hawaiian-style, appetizing poke at Sushi In Joy here in Lynnwood. Giving our tuna poke and salmon poke that Japanese twist is a throwback from where the traditional poke took influence. Come by and have poke before the sushi and sashimi.