Hula dancing, luaus and pristine sandy beaches – Hawaii is famed for many things, but perhaps none as tasty as its fresh and feisty poke bowls. Becoming trendier by the second, poke is actually an age-old dish rooted in Hawaii's history. We take a look at what makes it so special, and where to find the best creations available right here in Dubai.
A raw deal
Pronounced 'po-kay', poke can be literally translated as the Hawaiian word for 'sectioning' or 'slicing'. It's not surprising then that this dish comprises sliced and diced raw fish with dressings and chopped toppings to create a stunning salad.
Heavily influenced by Asian cuisine, chopped fresh fish – with tuna, salmon and octopus all popular go-tos – is traditionally doused in a dressing made from soy sauce, sesame oil and sometimes chilli. The marinating fish can then be topped with a whole host of seasonings – from salted crisp seaweed and sea salt to fish eggs, wasabi and chopped onions. Strong flavours, bright colours and awesome combinations help make this simple dish unforgettable.
A fisherman's friend
While exploding into the foodie world only recently, poke has been a part of Hawaii's history for years. Originally it was created by fishermen as a way of using up cut-offs as a snack while they were sailing. Waste not, want not and all that.
Since then – with the popularity of Asian cuisine growing globally – the Japanese flavours running through traditional poke recipes has helped this easy dish become a star in its own right. Move over sushi, there's a new trend in town.
Find the perfect poke
For some truly classic poke, head down to Aloha Poké where we can't recommend the Kuai bowl enough. Essentially deconstructed sushi, this sweet and crunchy classic uses Ahi tuna, sushi rice, edamame and fresh vegetables to shine up that health-halo. Dressed in the traditional sesame and soy sauce, this really does bring a taste of Japan to Dubai.
At Single Fin, they cater to all tastes. Here you'll find all the classic poke flavours that you know and love – like salmon packed in with rice, seaweed and edamame – but you'll also get a veggie-friendly version. The Waikiki Boat subs in Japanese tofu, ponzu lime, edamame, avocado, cherry tomatoes, carrots and fried shallots. Sunshine in a bowl.
And finally, if raw fish isn't your thing, you'll find something to love over at Pineapple Express. The spicy chicken choice gives none-fish lovers a chance to enjoy this trend. In this version, steamed chicken is paired with spring onions, sweet snow peas, cherry tomatoes and avocado before being sprinkled with the traditional Japanese seasoning Yuzu Kosho.
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