July 28, 2013

How to Order Poke (Part 1)

You really can't go anywhere that sells or serves food without seeing poke. It was one of those things that we were really confused by when we first arrived "What is a poke?" "Does it have anything to do with poking?" "I want to try it, but... how do you say it correctly!?"

Since this is such a common food and there's a lot of non-English terms involved, it's pretty important to cover. This is the first in a series of how to order poke.

Definition: Poke means to slice or cut into pieces. So if you slice up some seafood and make a salad = poke. Traditionally it was seasoned with sea salt, seaweed, and crushed kukui nuts. After contact with various cultures, it has evolved and now there are hundreds of varieties to choose from with different meats, vegetables, sauces and seasonings to suit your tastes.

Pronunciation: poe-kay, rhyming with okay. However, you will hear "poe-key," which is not technically correct (because it would be spelled "poki"), but it is an acceptable variation. So either way you say it, you'll get fed.

Location: Fine food markets, grocery stores, convenience stores, farmer's markets, your friend's luau. Basically everywhere.

The grocery store Foodland wins poke popularity contests
Poke on white rice = poke bowl
You can even buy it at Costco in reasonable amounts!
Although it's common in Hawaii, if you live elsewhere and would like to try poke, here is a recipe! Keep reading for more food terms to help you order some ono poke!

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