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How to: Poke 101

How to: Poke 101

Forget Spam, poi and pineapple. Poké (pronounced poh-kay) is a Hawaiian staple that is quickly making its way to the mainland. What’s all the fuss about? We’re here to break it down for you…

What Is Poké?

In Hawaiian, the word ‘poké’ means to slice or cut, so, it makes perfect sense that poké is a salad that starts with chopped or cubed raw fish, with flavours that are bolder and less acidic than tartare or ceviche. While traditionally made using ahi tuna, mainland Pokérias (no, not a real word but sure to catch on) are chopping up octopus, salmon and scallops as well. The fish is marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil and then can be tossed with everything from green and white onions, edamame and wasabi to sesame seeds, macadamia nuts and jalapenos. Poké can be served with tortilla chips, piled atop a bowl of rice, noodles or kale, or simply snacked on with a spoon.

Where Can You Eat Poké?

Poké is everywhere in Hawaii – you can walk into a grocery store and find dozens of different variations. As for the mainland, poké hit Los Angeles with a vengeance and is quickly making its way toward the East Coast, including spots in New York, Toronto and Chicago. While some restos offer up pre-made poké creations, others are taking the customize/build-your- own approach.

Here are a few Poké Hot Spots:


Sons of Thunder


Poké Etc
Big Daddy’s Poké Shop
Mainland Poké Shop


Da Poké Shack (voted the #1 restaurant in the United States)


FireFin Poké
Aloha Poké Co.


Big Tuna Poké Bar