International Poke Day is on September 28 and we are gearing up for the Hawaiian way of doing things — by eating poke. In Hawaiian lingo, a poke is called a ‘chop.’ The dish is fresh from the sea, marinated with sliced raw fish, sea salt, candlenut, seaweed, and a dark green sea plant called limu. Akin to sushi, poke is eaten raw, however, it’s peppered with a concoction of spices. It’s a snack-time favorite in Hawaii and needs to get onto the popular bandwagon as soon as possible, like the Acai bowls. Did you know that poke has only been eaten since the 1970s in Hawaii and is now entering mainland America?
History of International Poke Day
In the spirit of Aloha, poke became a part of Hawaiian culture. ‘Aloha’ is the Hawaiian term for greeting and the dish is made as a welcome snack for guests. Previously, the raw fish used to make poke was primarily ‘aku’ or octopus, but nowadays, poke is made with salmon and shellfish as well. Considered comfort food, there are variations in the ingredients used in poke across boundaries. When salmon was initially exported to countries like Japan, it was traded in exchange for sea salt. In Japan and Korea, poke is consumed with soy sauce, fish, eggs, and green onions. Globally, the dish is widely consumed in cosmopolitan cities like New York, Tokyo, London, San Francisco, and Johannesburg after the migration of the Hawaiian population. In one of the restaurants in New York, the poke dish gets nearly 600 orders every day.
Between 2014 and 2016, the number of Hawaiian restaurants on Foursquare doubled from 300 to 700, all thanks to poke. Both the traditional and modern versions of poke are popularly demanded in these restaurants. In Hawaii, International Poke Day has been celebrated like any other festival. Sam Choy, a popular chef in Hawaii, kickstarts the celebrations with a three-day ‘I Love Poke’ contest. The contest is about who submits the best recipe for poke. Some of the recipes have unique additions like avocado, ponzu sauce, mushrooms, crispy onions, pineapple, and cucumber.
International Poke Day timeline
It is first made by the local fishermen from the fish of the Pacific Ocean — the fish is gutted, skinned, and deboned before it is eaten.
About 700 to 800 fast-food outlets open in North America and gain popularity due to their extensive variety of traditional and spin-off poke dishes that can be personalized.
The diced fish is no longer massaged with salt, but sauces like the teriyaki sauce are dribbled on it before serving.
UberEats, in collaboration with entrepreneur Yusaka Maezwa, delivers poke to astronauts aboard space stations.
International Poke Day FAQs
Is poke expensive?
Poke is not expensive near coastal cities as it only requires fresh fish and a few vegetables. However, in other regions, due to the diminishing tuna stock, it is turning out to be a luxury delicacy.
Can I refrigerate poke?
You can refrigerate poke for up to 24 hours.
Is a poke bowl hot or cold?
They can be both. While the fish is raw, the other ingredients are cooked and added.
International Poke Day Activities
Go for a poke tasting tour at your favorite restaurant
Today, there are nearly 100 varieties of poke, and it's time you took your friends along for a fine poke tasting tour. Take bites of each other's bowls and treat your tastebuds to raw experimentation.
Learn to make your favorite poke and Instagram it
It’s time to go to the farmer’s market, don the chef’s apron, and start making a healthy, tasty bowl of poke. The colorful bowl is worthy of making it to your Instagram account.
Go on a poke picnic lunch
Hike your favorite mountain, set up your camp, and eat your packed picnic lunch today. Ensure that poke is the main dish.
5 Facts About Poke That Will Blow Your Mind
The meaning of the word in Hawaiian
The word ‘poke’ in Hawaiian means ‘chunk.’
Poke rhymes with okay
Poke is not pronounced the way you think it should be — it rhymes with the word ‘okay.’
Poke is easier to eat than sushi
Poke is called the next-generation sushi for a reason — it’s a deconstructed version of sushi.
A bowl has 150 calories
This high-protein, low-calorie dish is one of the best ways to reduce weight.
40% of the top 10 orders
A large percentage of food requests in the world are for poke bowls.
Why We Love International Poke Day
Poke is delicious and healthy
A poke bowl has many health benefits. It reduces blood pressure, increases blood circulation, and is loaded with vegetables and vitamins.
Poke bowls are easy to make at home
They are inexpensive, easy snacks to make. They take only 15 minutes to prepare.
The best reason to invite guests over for a late-night snack
No one says no to a poke bowl. You can catch up with your friends without doing anything elaborate.
International Poke Day dates