Why It Pays To Take Your Time When Mixing Poke

If you've spent any time on Instagram in the past 10 years, the chances are pretty good you've encountered photos of the ever present poke bowl. According to Poke Bros., this photogenic dish first started to take off in the continental U.S. around 2012 but has been making waves in Hawaii for centuries, per Timoti's. According to the Florida-based seafood shack, it was the native Polynesian population of the Hawaiian islands that first ate raw fresh-caught fish with salt, seaweed, and candle nuts.

People says that poke (pronounced POH-keh) is a dish that consists of a base like rice that is topped with raw fish, sauces, vegetables, and other flavorful toppings. This highly customizable treat practically glows thanks to the bright shades of pink raw tuna, red chilis, or green avocado. Thrillist adds that while poke is traditionally made with raw fish like ahi tuna, it can be made with any type of fresh, local seafood that suits your personal taste.

Toss poke like a salad

There are a few different ways to enjoy poke bowls. According to USS Nemo, poke should be enjoyed without being mixed. It claims that it's best to take small bites of each ingredient and topping, experimenting to see which flavors go best together. That's also one of the reasons why poke is best enjoyed with chopsticks, which make careful selections of each item look easy.

If you want to have all of those flavors mixed together into a soaring harmony though, it's best to remember to toss your poke gently. Chef Ravi Kapur told Food & Wine that it's best to think of it like tossing a salad. You're trying to evenly coat the ingredients in the sauce without damaging anything. Kapur recommends giving your poke a gentle fold with a rubber spatula before tasting it, and adding any sauce, or other ingredients, if needed. This way, the entirety of the poke will be evenly coated, and each bite will have the same depth of flavor as the last. It also prevents the soy sauce or salt from curing parts of the fish while leaving the rest.

So, while it isn't required to mix your poke, if you decide to go for it, do so gently.