With abundant fresh produce in season it’s an ideal time to explore poke bowls for quick, tasty and healthy lunches and dinners. A different take on Summer salads, there’s no better way to use up what’s at hand, while making the most of what’s fresh and seasonal. Originally from Hawaii poke means to-cut, and developed from cutting cubes of salmon, tuna or fish remaining from having made sashimi and sushi that can then be made into a poke bowl.
Being such a versatile and tasty option poke bowls are now available everywhere, but this is something you can easily recreate at home, they look sensational when serving and they’re the perfect way to get everyone re-invigorated about enjoying their 5+ a day.
Here’s our basic guide to building your perfect poke bowl.
1: Pick your base;
Finely shredded cabbage, rice (we like brown but that’s personal preference), quinoa, cauliflower rice or zoodles, soba noodles or leafy greens.
2. Pick your protein;
Traditionally poke bowls were made with raw fish, if you can get good quality raw fish, like salmon, tuna, kahawai or snapper. Cut the fillets lengthwise, working against the grain, into cubes approx. 1cm. (We like to marinade our salmon and tuna for at least 1-2hrs before we’re ready to serve in a 50/50 mix of sesame oil and soy sauce).
If you prefer cooked proteins you’re options aren’t limited; cooked shrimp or tofu is a good alternative. You can also bring in a more deconstructed Japanese bento style bowl with karage (fried) or katsu (crumbed) chicken, pork or beef fillets.
3: Choose your Sauces/ Dressings;
The fattier and firmer the fish, the stronger your dressing can be. Mild flavoured fish, should be lightly dressed but this is really personal preference. Chilli sauce, miso paste, Ponzu, soy sauce, and spicy black bean paste are great bases to work with.
If you’re using cooked tofu or chicken consider teriyaki, chilli, soy or satay sauces, Kewpie mayo, aioli, ranch or any other favourite dressings for with your selected protein.
4. Optional/ essential extras;
Choose at least one item from at least three of these categories to achieve optimal texture and flavour contrast.
Fruits/veg: sliced avocado, pickled radish, cabbage or ginger, bean sprouts, blanched asparagus, kimchi, tomatoes, thinly sliced cucumber, radish, shredded carrots, shiitake mushrooms, edamame beans, pickled seaweed, cooked sweetcorn kernels, fresh citrus wedges.
Nuts: sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, cashews
Spice: Shichimi (Japanese spice mixture), dried chillis, red pepper flakes, crushed wasabi peas, thin sliced jalapenos
Alliums: Finely sliced spring onion, sweet pickled onion, roasted garlic or crispy fried shallots.
The options are endless, so just get creative with what you have and layer them as a deconstructed bowl of deliciousness!