Tuna Poke, New at Lloyd’s Chicago!

What is Poke?

Poke comes from Hawaii and is a raw fish dish seasoned with Japanese flavors like soy sauce, green onions, and sesame oil. The raw fish used is this discuss is typically, Yellowfin tuna, however, options like octopus, salmon, and various shellfish are also used.

The Poke you see today is quite different from the traditional version, which was a freshly deboned and filleted whole raw fish served with condiments like sea salt and seaweed. Today’s version comes from the 1970’s, where the raw fish is chopped finer with added ingredients like chili peppers, nuts, onion, avocados, and tomatoes. Today, Poke is so popular some restaurants only have poke on their menus.

What we learn from this history lesson is that high quality raw seafood is needed for the basis of this dish.

What makes a Poke bowl?

The anatomy of a poke bowl consists of fresh high quality ingredients layered upon each other to create the perfect umami. Let’s start from the bottom and build this dish up.

The initial layer should be perfectly puffed rice.   There are numerous ways to flavor this puffed rice whether it’s with traditional Japanese flavors like soy or exotic flavors like coconut. Let your imagination run wild!

The next layer should be some kind of seasoning. Some like Furikake, a dry Japanese seasoning that consists of dried fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar, and salt. Bonito flakes that are dried and usually smoke tuna flakes with salt and pepper can also be used. It’s up to you what you like as for the seasoning in the end. But both of these options definitely lend to layered flavors of a true Poke bowl.

Poke is next! The most important of all layers…this varies with your tastebuds…whether it’s yellow fin tuna, octopus, salmon, or even lightly seared steak for the meatlover. Each of these raw proteins are delicately flavored with herbs, spices, and sauces.

Top the bowl off with a lasting layer of crunch and ocean flavor. Some like a mixture of sesame seeds, nori, and onions but the combination is basically endless. If you have ingredients that are crunchy and salty, they most likely work for this layer.

Menu items at Lloyd’s Chicago:

Lifestart Approved RD Menu item….Tuna Poke, Marinated Ahi tuna, edamame, scallions, avocado, sesame seeds, shredded carrots, radish, cucumber, white rice, seaweed salad, sriracha aioli sauce $19.95

Did You Know?   When you purchase a LifeStart RD Approved menu item at Lloyd’s Chicago, bring your receipt to the fitness center for a chance to win a monthly prize. Each month, a LifeStart fitness member and non-member will be selected at random from our raffle. Keep on the lookout for new menu items and fitness center prizes each month.