Australia, it’s time for a change. For far too long we’ve been locked in a “dude food” obsession.
Stacked burgers, ‘freak’ milkshakes, fried chicken and loaded fries have been dominating menus and social media feeds for more than a year and it has to stop, for the good of our health.
Fear not, there’s a replacement dish that’s tasty, healthy and just as addictive waiting to take dude food’s place.
It’s called poke (pronounced po-kay), a Hawaiian dish with Japanese influences that has taken America by storm and has recently arrived on our shores.
Poke is traditionally a salad of lightly soy-cured raw tuna with a few vegetables (think avocado, cherry tomatoes and brown onion), dressed with sesame seeds, scallions and ginger, all on top of sushi rice.
Poke is the Hawaiian word meaning “to segment” or “to cut”.
It’s fresh, vibrant and satisfying, but the best thing is that from the traditional base anything is possible.
Want to add edamame beans, fish roe, shredded carrot or crispy fried shallots for texture? Sure, go for it.
There have been versions of poke popping up on menus around Australia for a while, but only recently have dedicated shops opened.
The first opened in Sydney in May, appropriately called Poke, while another named Poked just opened in Melbourne.
‘We couldn’t believe it wasn’t big in Australia’
Poked was the brain child of two commerce students and one medicine student who are “passionate about heart health”.
Co-owner Justin told The New Daily that the health benefits of poke were significant.
“In terms of heart health poke is very good for you. It is high in omega-3 and is low in cholesterol,” he said.
“My business partner Thomas is a medical student and when he was on exchange in Los Angeles he was looking for a healthy dish to eat.
“He stumbled across poke. He had it almost every day while he was there and when he was back in Australia he was really surprised that it wasn’t here.”
He said about 70 per cent of customers who came through Poked’s doors didn’t know what poke was, but left happy once they’d tried it.
“We assumed everyone would know it [poke] because it is so big overseas but I think because Australia hasn’t had the exposure to it not a lot of people know,” Justin said.
While traditionally made with tuna, poke has been served with octopus, tofu, salmon and other fish. Sauces and dressings can also be creamy and include plain mayonnaise, or mixed with chilli sauce.
To learn how to make poke, watch the instructional video below: