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What Is a Poke Bowl? Breaking Down the Latest Trend That Foodies Love

Poke bowl with silken tofu, seaweed, rice and vegetables

What Is a Poke Bowl? Breaking Down the Latest Trend That Foodies Love

Have you heard of the poke bowl buzz? This is the latest food trend and foodies are raving about them! But what are poke bowls? Click here and find out.

Aloha! Like its Japanese predecessor, sushi rolls, poke bowls are making a big splash in American foodie culture.

It seems like everywhere you go people are either talking about poke bowls or taking pictures of them. In fact, there are nearly 500,000 gorgeous photos of poke bowls on Instagram.

So what is a poke bowl? And how did it become so popular in America? Read on to find out!

Where Did Poke Bowls Originate?

Poke bowls (pronounced poh-kay) originated in Hawaii. The literal translation of the word poke in Hawaiian is “to cut crosswise into pieces.”

Poke bowls date back to the 19th century and were originally made with reef fish. Fishermen would cut up reef fish and throw them in a bowl, raw, and season them with whatever they had available. Sometimes with sea salt, others with seaweed or candlenuts, even algae.

There isn’t a set place in Hawaii from which poke originated, but its evolution appears to be the result of the interaction between the food cultures of Hawaii and Japan. Both Hawaiian and Japanese cultures have a fondness for raw fish! 

What’s In a Poke Bowl?

Today’s poke bowls are quite a bit different than the 19th-century originals. In fact, the arrival of Japanese migrants to Hawaii changed poke bowl preferences from reef fish to ahi tuna. It can also contain cured octopus.

As for the myriad pictures of poke bowls on Instagram? Sadly, they aren’t an authentic representation of classic poke. Classic poke is just raw fish and seasoning scooped into a container.

One thing is for certain: if you get a poke bowl with salmon, you’re not getting the real deal. There’s nothing wrong with salmon in a poke bowl, it’s actually quite delicious, but classic poke bowls do not contain salmon.

How have poke bowls evolved since making it big on the mainland? Americanized poke bowls are essentially sushi in a bowl. They contain raw fish such as ahi tuna or salmon, rice, vegetables like radish and avocado, dried seaweed, furikake, and seasoning.

Are Poke Bowls Healthy?

Very! The fact that poke bowls are both delicious and healthy has led to their rapid increase in popularity. Well…and the fact that they are perfectly Instagrammable. Next to every #pokebowl, you’ll probably find #cleaneating.

Poke bowls are loaded with good fats. Fresh ahi tuna and salmon are packed full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Avocados also have heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

You can also pack poke bowls full of veggies like cucumber, seaweed, or kale. Top it off with edamame and you have you have everything you need for a hearty, healthy meal!

Hungry Now? 

If there’s one thing poke bowls prove, it’s that clean eating doesn’t have to be boring. With a little rice, a little tuna, and plenty of colorful veggies and seasoning, you’ll have a super tasty meal that is both healthy and beautiful. It’s no wonder that poke bowls have become so popular!

Looking for more info about healthy eating? Check out the rest of our blog for more helpful and interesting articles about health and beauty. Happy eating!

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