Poke Bowls

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I could eat poke bowls every day. Few dishes can rival the vibrant pristine nature of a healthy bowl of vegetables and fresh seafood also known as “poke”. Now you may ask “what is poke”? Well, think of it like the chipotle version of sushi, but more sophisticated and with its own price tag of course. Poke is a deconstructed bowl of custom toppings with a base of diced raw fish or other seafood; it may include raw salmon, ahi tuna, or scallops. By the way, it is pronounced “poh-kay” and means “to slice or to cut” in Hawaiian. The origin of poke is likely from Polynesia (islands from Hawaii to New Zealand) and originated with fisherman who ate a seasoned cut piece of their fresh catch of the day.

It is important that any raw fish you buy is “sushi grade”. Now this does not mean that the FDA said it is “ok” to consume raw. The FDA recommends specific freezing conditions for fish that will be consumed raw but this is enforced by the state. So really, when you see the term “sushi grade” it is the seller letting you know that they are confident that it is safe to consume. It is up to you to choose a reputable seller and determine their credibility.

_MG_3158Now this recipe will be what I used for my bowl, but feel free to use it as a base and swap or remove ingredients as you like. Don’t get alarmed by the long list of ingredients. The ideal thing about these dishes is how customizable they are and you can use whatever you have available in your fridge.

Poke Bowls

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups of sushi rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 6 ounces of fresh crab meat, drained
  • 1/2 pound of shrimp, cooked, de-shelled
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 3 radishes, sliced
  • 1 can of sliced beets, drained
  • 1 package of seaweed salad
  • Garnishes: seaweed strips, fried onions, sesame seeds

Spicy Mayo Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha

Directions

  1. Rinse the sushi rice in a strainer until the water is no longer cloudy. Prepare according to package instructions. I added 2 cups of sushi rice with 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to the lowest heat for a simmer. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and leave covered for 10 minutes. Place the rice is a wooden or glass mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and fold through the rice with a spatula or wooden spoon in a cutting motion.
  2. Mix the seafood with the soy sauce and sesame oil
  3. Arrange the cooked rice, vegetables, seafood (crab and shrimp), garnishes in each bowl. Mix the sauce ingredients together and put in a ziploc bag. Cut the corner of the bag so that you can drizzle your sauce over your dish. Alternately you can mix your toppings with the sauce prior to placing them on top of the rice.

Tips:

  • Base: typically is sushi rice but can be substituted for salad greens, long grain rice, brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice
  • Seafood: you can use raw fish (needs to be sushi grade) or cooked fish, shrimp, crab meat, tuna meat, etc. If you want to forgo the seafood, try tofu as an alternative.
  • Toppings: the veggies can be whatever you have on hand at the moment.
    • Pre-cooked beets such as canned or frozen beets are easier to use. You can also roast your own beets.
    • Optional garnishes include green onions, crispy fried onions or garlic, seaweed strips

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Seafood Galore

There’s nothing like waking up early on a beautiful Saturday morning and heading out to the fish market for the fresh catch of the day. You could buy it from your grocery store but the whole experience is about going to the fish market and having a large selection to choose from, all displayed on huge tables of ice in front of you not to mention the heavy fish smell! Seafood is amazing simply because there are so many ways to prepare it whether it be baking, broiling, frying, sautéing, or broiling. What’s also cool is that you can integrate seafood into almost any dish you want to make: seafood guacamole, shrimp with pasta, crab meat with rice, octopus in salads, etc. Another great benefit is that fish is extremely healthy for you. Many of the common benefits include lowering blood pressure, reducing risk of heart disease, reducing depression, and preventing cancer.

Here is the recipe for the breadcrumb coating commonly used with frying fish.

BreadCrumb Coating for Fried Seafood

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs (I use Panko breadcrumbs)
Directions:
  1. Place your ingredients in 3 bowls, one for each (place them in this order: flour, eggs, breadcrumbs)
  2. Coat the fish with flour first
  3. Dip it in the beaten egg mixture
  4. Lastly, coat the fish with the breadcrumbs
  5. Fry the breadcrumb coated fish

The Small Fresh Squids Ready to be Cleaned!

-Make sure you clean the squid if you didn’t buy it cleaned already. There’s a lot inside of them that you have to take out including this clear thin piece of cuttlebone-looks pretty neat. Here’s a website that may assist you in cleaning squid yourself :

http://susaneatslondon.com/2011/12/09/cleaning-squid/

Boiling Shrimps

-These are very quick to make-5 minutes on average-but it really depends on the size of your shrimp. It’s important that you do not overcook these or else they will become tough and rubbery. One of the most common signs that your shrimp are done cooking is when they turn a pink color.

The Catfish with Spices

-The catfish is relatively easy as well. All you do is cut the fish into slices, coat it with some spices, and dip it in the breadcrumb recipe and you’re done after frying them!

A Bass and Red Snapper Stuffed with a Medley of Herbs

-You can use any of your favorite herbs or spices to stuff these fish. I put rosemary, sage, and a couple of lemon slices among other spices inside them.

What’s your favorite seafood?