(Really, if I had a dollar for every joke I’ve heard connecting poké with Pokémon…)
Poké is a Hawaiian term roughly translating to “cut into pieces,” but that name doesn’t quite do this island dish justice. At its base, poké typically consists of raw sushi-grade fish (salmon or tuna are the most traditional options) tossed in a quick marinade and served with an assortment of veggies over rice. From there, you can get as creative as you want! I’ve developed this base recipe to use ingredients that are readily accessible in most areas, but if you have access to ingredients like Japanese spicy mayo or ponzu sauce (a sauce made with a base of mirin and citrus), feel free to add those in!
You might be a little bit concerned about eating raw fish, especially if you’ve never tried it before. However, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines, you might just surprise yourself with how much you enjoy it!
- First, make sure you get your fish from a quality source. This might sound intimidating, but it’s easier than you might expect. Even in landlocked areas like Denver, I’ve found that chains like Costco are surprisingly good with supplying quality fish.
- Next, make sure the cuts of fish themselves are good. When you’re walking by the fish on display, there shouldn’t be a stereotypically pungent “fishy” smell. The cuts of fish themselves should be free of any slimy appearance, and if you can see the eyes of the fish, they should be clear.
- Also, ask your fishmonger about whether the fish is sushi-grade. Sushi-grade fish are caught, cleaned, and put on ice quickly. At that point, they’re frozen below 0F for a week (or flash-frozen below -35F for at least 15 hours). It might sound a bit strange to eat thawed-out fish like that, but if it’s prepared right, it’s still absolutely delicious!
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 TBSP rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp sesame oil
2 TBSP ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 medium yellow onion, julienned
8 oz sushi-grade salmon, cut into 1-inch cubes
Short-grain rice for serving
Optional additions: carrots, edamame, cabbage, asparagus, sesame seeds, Japanese spicy mayo, sesame oil, etc.
Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, green onions, yellow onion, and salmon in an airtight container. Toss to evenly coat the salmon with the marinade, and let marinate for about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, cook the rice according to directions, and prepare the vegetables to serve. Place a scoop of rice on the bottom of the bowl, then top with the salmon mixture and veggies. Serve immediately, and refrigerate any leftovers for up to one day.
Serves about 2.