Move over sushi, there's a new Asian food craze taking over. Poke (pronounced poh-kay) is crossing the ocean from Hawaii and hitting the mainland--not to mention Instagram.
Poke means "to cut" or "to slice" in Hawaiian and poke bowls are popping up at casual restaurants from Los Angeles to New York City. The bowls feature raw fish—usually salmon or tuna—marinated in sauce and laid atop of a bed of warm rice (or sometimes greens). Similiar to a build-your-own burrito restaurant, poke bowls are then topped with an assortment of garnishes, seasonings and spices, including avocado, crispy, fried onions, tobiko and scallions. Price varies but $10-$15 should buy you a fairly large, filling bowl with all the fixins.
According to Gothamist, one signature of poke—versus sashimi at a sushi joint—is the cubed shape of the fish. Some restaurants offer pre-set bowls but the DIY version is also popular. Eater has called it the "next fast-casual trend. "I'm not surprised poke is becoming so popular in the continental U.S., just surprised that it took so long," says Hawaii-based food writer Martha Cheng. "People already love sushi, raw fish, and ceviche; poke seems like a natural inclusion."
Feast your eyes on the poke takeover!