By Shelby Morrison
The word poke is being thrown around quite often these days with the popularity of Pokémon Go. However, food is much more exciting than video games and apps.
Poke bowls are rising to fame in Canada. While they have been a staple in Hawaii for years and years, this food trend is just beginning to pop-up in Canada. Adding this to your menu will provide a dish that customers might not be accustomed to, but will most likely be welcome with open arms. While being flavourful and unique, it is also a light and healthy dish.
Pronounced poh-keh, these bowls are comprised of fresh raw fish, rice and a few other toppings and vegetables. For starters, poke means “to cut into pieces.” The raw fish is cut into small cubes and tossed lightly in soy sauce. It is then combined in a bowl with short grain Japanese sushi rice, but regular white or brown rice would also be suitable. Rice counterbalances the somewhat fishy flavour of the dish. However, the fish should not smell too fishy, which ensures freshness and quality. You also want to make sure the fish is bright in colour, as well as firm to the touch. This will guarantee that you have the freshest, most delicious fish possible as the star of your poke bowl. Fresh, never frozen fatty fish is best used for poke bowls such as ahi or yellowfin tuna, or salmon.
Once you have nailed the fish and rice portion of the poke bowl, it is time to add the rest. Common ingredients are green onion, sesame seeds, fish roe, avocado and seaweed. Feel free to customize your poke bowl on your menu to suit the preferences of your customers and maybe even offer a make-your-own poke bowl option. As for sauce, spicy mayonnaise can be drizzled over top, as well as a light toss in soy sauce. Try not to overwhelm the dish with too much sauce, and allow for the fresh ingredients to speak for themselves.
By incorporating new dishes into your menu, it will keep your restaurant fresh and exciting, hopefully helping you gain new fans. Poke bowls are a fabulous approach to healthier eating, especially when using brown rice, without sacrificing flavour. Customers will now be catching poke bowls instead of Pokémon!