Recipe courtesy of South Maui Fish Company

Traditional Style Poke Bowl

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Poke, once found only in Hawaii, has grown in popularity throughout the continental U.S. and worldwide in recent years. What is this trending dish, you might ask? Although eaten by ancient Hawaiians using freshly caught fish massaged with sea salt, seaweed and crushed kukui nuts, it didn't receive its official name of poke (pronounced poh-kay, rhymes with okay), which means "to cut into pieces," until around the 1960s. As people flooded to Hawaii from Asia, they added their own cultures' ingredients like soy sauce, green onions, sesame oil and furikake, that have become staples of the dish today. There is a range of variations to the dish that includes ingredients like octopus (he'e in Hawaiian and tako in Japanese), crab, tofu, avocado, jalapenos, chile flakes, garlic, ginger and much, much more. You can serve poke as a bowl, nachos, musubi (another Hawaiian favorite), tacos, tostadas, and the list goes on. Today, we are presenting a traditional style poke bowl, unequivocally the most popular style in Hawaii.



  1. Cut the fish into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes. Combine in a bowl with the soy sauce, ponzu, sesame seeds, tobiko, sesame oil, green onions and sweet onion. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare rice. Rinse rice in cold water and drain until water runs clear, between 3 to 5 rinses. Add rice to a saucepan or rice cooker with 1 cup cold water. If using a saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once simmering begins, reduce heat to low and let cook, covered, until no water remains, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove rice from heat and leave covered for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork. (If using a rice cooker, you got this.)
  3. To serve, place your desired amount of rice in a bowl. Scoop 6 to 8 ounces poke over rice. Garnish with furikake and unagi sauce to taste. Repeat to make 3 to 5 more bowls. Enjoy!

Cook’s Note

Any sushi-grade fish will work for this recipe. If cutting fish ahead of time, keep dry by resting it on paper towels in the refrigerator.