If 2015 was the year that acai bowls hit mainstream, spreading from niche juice shops and hippie-vibe cafés to Jamba Juice, poke is the bowl food to watch for in 2016. A traditional Hawaiian seafood preparation — take bite-size pieces of raw fish like ahi tuna, salmon, or octopus, marinade it in soy sauce and in essence you have poke (pronounced POH-keh) — poke was (and continues to be) a major trend in the Los Angeles dining scene last year.
Poke is something you crave. Something you daydream about. Tender chunks of raw ahi tuna, marinated in shoyu, sesame oil, and any combination of chili pepper and sriracha. Other variations of ingredients may include seaweed, green onion, maui or red onion, toasted sesame seeds, furikake, garlic, or tobiko. If you’ve been lucky enough to travel to Hawaii, most likely you’ve tried authentic poke and you’ll know why it’s something I crave constantly.
Poke (pronounced poh-keh), a raw-fish salad, is like the hamburger of Hawaii, ubiquitous at family gatherings, parties, tailgates, and supermarket delis across the islands. I've seen the Hawaiian word poke translated variously as "to chop" or "to cut crosswise," in reference to the way in which the fish is cut, so perhaps it's more accurate to say that poke is like the chopped salad of Hawaii.