POKE bowls healthy

Poke bowls (pronounced ‘poh-kay’) are all the rage at the moment and with good reason, they are fun to make, full of healthy ingredients and bursting with umami flavour.

Originating in Hawaii, ‘poke’ means ‘cut raw fish’.  Fisherman would season the off-cuts of their catch with sea salt, seaweed and kukui nuts, to eat as a snack.   This tradition has come a long way to evolve into the trendy fusion of flavours we enjoy today.

Preparing ingredients and assembling poke bowls is a great way to get the kids involved in food and eating healthy options. Poke bowls make great school or work lunches or an easy, pre-prepared dinner.  You can make any flavour combination you like.

Give kids lots of healthy options and let them get creative

1.         Choose a base

Choose a base that suits your tastes and health goals.  Choose from sushi rice, brown rice, soba noodles, cooked quinoa, zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice or leafy greens.

2.         Add some protein

Poke bowls are traditionally made with fresh, raw fish like tuna, salmon or kingfish but you can use whatever protein you enjoy or have handy.    It is a great way to use up leftover roast chicken for example.

Ideas include: Sashimi salmon, tuna or king fish, smoked salmon, cooked tuna, fish, chicken, beef, prawns, lamb, pork, ham, egg, chick peas, lentils, tempeh or tofu.

Important note:  If you are using raw fish, ensure you purchase sushi grade fish which is safe to consume raw and ensure it is kept cold and eat it asap, this is not a good option for school lunch boxes!

3.         Add lots of vegetables 

The more the merrier when it comes to the veggies.  Add colour, texture and flavor with 3-5 different veggies.

Grated carrot, red onion, radish, cucumber, chilli, corn, cabbage, beetroot, pickled ginger, seaweed, asparagus, edamame beans, bamboo shoots, daikon, bean sprouts, avocado and/or sauerkraut.

4.         Choose a dressing

The traditional poke bowl dressing is a perfect accompaniment to raw oily fish.  Other options you might like to try include; lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil; a splash of toasted sesame oil; or Sriracha mayo.

Traditional poke bowl dressing – Soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, grated ginger, red pepper flakes, green onions and sesame seeds.

5.         Finally add something crunchy

Add some texture to your poke bowl with a crunchy topping of your choice:

Tamari almonds, shredded nori sheets, toasted coconut, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds or salmon roe.

Jean is a nutritionist and naturopath at Elemental Health in St. Ives. She is passionate about improving her client’s health and wellbeing in a way that suits their lifestyle. For more information contact info@jeanjarrettnaturopath.com.au or 0424 407 560 to book an appointment.

Enjoy!