Poke (po-keh), a dish most simply comprised of cubed and salted raw fish, has been sweeping the mainland United States and is now one of the most popular dishes to have come from Hawai’i. So what’s the big deal with Hawaiian Poke?
Well, it’s one of the native Hawaiian dishes that has retained its popularity in the islands consistently. The ancient Hawaiian poke was comprised of ahi (tuna) and limu (seaweed).
Now, this tasty dish is available with a multitude of sauces, seasonings, and other ingredients. Some of the most popular variations are spicy poke and swapping ahi for salmon.
Where To Go For Poke
While it can be a little tricky to find poke in the mainland, it is everywhere in Hawaii.
Most of the time, I pick up mine from the local Foodland supermarket. However, there are some standout grocery stores in Maui, such as Takamiya market (Wailuku), and vendors who specialize in it, such as Poke Hale.
There are plenty of restaurants that also integrate poke into their menu as an appetizer.
The Hawaiian Poke Bowl
If you’re already a fan of sushi, the Hawaiian poke bowl might just become your favorite island dish. It is comprised of rice at the bottom (most places will also offer brown rice) and a poke of your choice on top. It’s delicious!
Foodland (and most other poke vendors) are happy to let you sample a few cubes to figure out which flavor you’d like.
Some of my favorites are poke in oyster sauce, spicy poke, and shoyu (soy sauce) poke. These bowls are perfect with tea (either iced or hot) and it’s rare to go a day without seeing a local with a poke bowl and canned iced tea.
Have you tried this popular Hawaiian dish? Where are your favorite poke places? Let us know in the comments!