Why You Should Use Cold Fish To Make Poke

As crunchy, colorful, and refreshing as salads may be, sometimes, you want a different approach to healthy eating. And that's where poke bowls come in. Small cubes of sushi-grade fish are often tossed with a savory (and perhaps even spicy) poke sauce, then paired alongside a rainbow of veggies, toppings, and extra drizzles of sauces, all tied together with some rice, greens, or noodles underneath.

But a good poke bowl extends beyond the above, highlighting a balance of textures and flavors like sweetness, saltiness, and freshness, according to eatfirst. And since you're free to customize the bowl as you please, you can mix and match varying elements, like choosing tofu instead of fish for protein or adding extra heat with spicy mayo or wasabi aioli.

To get the most out of these flavors, the restaurant USS Nemo suggests eating a poke bowl with chopsticks and refraining from mixing everything together. This allows for a better contrasting bite. For instance, maybe one bite consists of marinated fish with rice while a second bite picks up crunchy slices of ginger with tempura flakes on top.

Fish is, of course, one of the most important elements of a traditional poke bowl, and if you're making one at home, it's important to utilize cold fish. Here's why.

It makes slicing a breeze

There are so many tips and tricks out there for slicing fish, such as using a smooth motion, wiping the blade of the knife after each fish slice, and angling your blade differently depending on which kind of fish you're slicing, per Made In Cookware. But as Food & Wine suggests, make sure the fish is cold beforehand because it'll be way easier to slice (the fish should also remain in the fridge until it's slicing time). Granted, it's probably best not to slice frozen fish because it'll be too "hard and dense," according to Leaf.TV. In this case, you'll want to thaw it via overnight refrigeration.

After the cold fish has been sliced, you can mix it with an easy marinade of your choice to make a delicious poke bowl, then refrigerate it for about a quarter of an hour (make sure to keep the fish covered too). If you're not going to marinate or season the fish right away, it's still best to stick it in the fridge for the time being (covered, of course).

So next time you're making a poke bowl, make sure that the fish is cold (but not frozen) to make the slicing process a breeze.