Poke: The Secrets of a Perfect Hawaiian Dish

Every year, new raw fish dishes appear on restaurant and delivery menus. Tartar, ceviche, sushi, rolls, and sashimi have long been known and loved by those who follow food trends. But gourmet interests are not limited to Asian cuisine. Chefs who are keeping up with the times suggest trying an exotic Hawaiian delicacy – poke. Such a meal can be as fantastic as a generous casino VIP program or as terrible as the worst horror movie. Here’s how this dish came to be, and what it may be of interest to those who watch out for their health and figure.

History of Origin

Poke is a Hawaiian dish that consists of raw fish or seafood cut into small cubes, rice, vegetables, herbs, and seasonings.

Historians say the dish got its official name in the 1970s, but it originated much earlier. It’s believed that fishermen seasoned the skinned, gutted, and cut fish with soy sauce or vinegar, added rice, and ate it on their boats.

The recipe for poke is similar to sushi or rolls, and it’s unclear which came first.

The classic Hawaiian version of poke involves simple ingredients:

  • Fresh tuna (less commonly, octopus).
  • Cooked rice.
  • Sea salt.
  • Sesame oil or soy sauce.
  • Stirred seaweed.
  • Sliced green onion sticks.

In a modern interpretation, the appetizer has become a transformer:

  • It’s acceptable to substitute tuna for salmon, shrimp or scallops.
  • Almost any fruits, vegetables and herbs are used as an addition: mango, avocado, leeks, celery.
  • The dressing has also changed: sesame or chia seeds, fine caviar and spices to taste are added to the traditional soy sauce.

Poke is a dish of fresh, raw ingredients, which is as simple as possible to prepare. Poke and boule recipes should also not be confused. Bowl can include anything: chicken, red meat, or fish, but the products must be heat-treated.

Nutritional Value

Because of the wide variety of acceptable ingredients, it is not easy to calculate the exact nutritional value. But poke clearly belongs to the dietary dishes, which is suitable for those who do not want to gain extra pounds. The ingredients are low in calories and rich in healthy micronutrients:

  • Tuna and salmon per 100 g of meat contain no more than 150 kcal. These types of fish are valuable sources of easily digestible animal protein. Tuna is rich in selenium that helps normalize liver function. Fish oil in salmon prevents development of musculoskeletal system diseases and strengthens immunity.
  • White rice contains complex carbohydrates, which are involved in the maintenance of metabolism. Fiber from this cereal has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract, normalizes stool, cleanses the body of toxins.
  • Sesame oil, like sesame seeds themselves, is enriched with polyunsaturated fatty acids necessary for building and regenerating cells. The human body is not capable of producing these elements on its own, so they can only be obtained with food.

What Are the Dangers

Raw fish can cause harm to the body. Parasites contained in uncooked meat die only when exposed to high temperatures. If you eat tuna or salmon, you are very likely to catch worms, E. coli, salmonella and countless other pathogens. Therefore, only fish from proven producers should be used when cooking poke.

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