A poke bowl

Image: Shutterstock

Let’s start with how to pronounce it: Poke is “poh-kay,” and it’s a staple of Hawaiian cuisine that has jetted across the Pacific to the mainland to become one of the country’s top food trends.

The appeal is easy to understand. The basis of poke is fresh, raw fish, marinated lightly and tossed with sticky rice and flavorings from around the Pacific Rim (think seaweed, ginger, wasabi, sesame seeds and furikake). The best poke bowls are both filling and healthful, with the clean, oceanic flavor of the fish balanced by the starchy rice and the spicy, umami-rich condiments. You can eat one on your lunch break and feel fine at your desk for the rest of the day. You can eat one after a workout and not feel guilty at all.

Lots of restaurants are now offering poke (Spice Station has a great eel poke bowl) and even Publix is offering them at their sushi stations, but the dish got a big boost in Sarasota in September when Tyler Fushikoshi opened Fushipoké, a fast-casual poke spot located on Orange Avenue, just north of Main Street. You can either build your own bowl or let Fushikoshi and his staff guide you.

An “aloha” bowl costs $12.15 and packs in salmon, edamame, onions, togarashi and ponzu. Potential add-ins include mushrooms, avocado, pickled daikon and a whole mess more. Not a fish fan? You can sub in chicken or tofu as your protein.

Poke’s moment has come. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

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