“The best part about it – working with my best mate!”
If you are not yet acquainted with poké it’s about time you learned what this Hawaiian staple is. Poké (pronounced poh-kay and rhymes with okay) literally means “to cut” in Hawaiian, quite suitable really when you consider that the main element of this trendier than ever dish is cubed raw fish. Picture poké as your favourite sushi rolls and sashimi reincarnated into a seafood salad.
At it’s most basic, poké is small pieces of raw tuna dressed with soy sauce. But the possibilities don’t stop there. Exceedingly simply with numerous twists when it comes to the fish, marinades, toppings and textures.
Jamie Haughton and Dave McParland were living in Whistler for 2 years when they decided to do a road trip around California. Both noticed that poké was featuring in almost every place they visited in LA. They had never been hooked on raw fish but they knew this was a whole other level! “We knew that if we could be blown away by the dish then we figured the Irish people could too. The duo went to London and were delighted to see that poké was also rising in popularity there. This set the ball in motion for a market stall. “We spent 4 months planning before we were set up in action. I downloaded hundreds of menus online to draw inspiration and create the perfect marinade”. And boy is it glorious!! “We didn’t want an office job and so it’s so great having something that keeps us out and about. I love it because the customers are intrigued, it’s something they have never experienced and are excited to try!” “The best part about it – working with my best mate”.
The poké bowl is one of the most beautiful creations I have ever laid my eyes on, akin to a techni-coloured masterpiece!
The fish of course is the main attraction, sliced raw fish ahi tuna marinated in soy and sesame oil or salmon in a kimchi dressing that is served over a bowl of rice or spinach. Next comes the toppings, most popular is the wakame (Wak-a-may, another fun word to say!), pineapple, avocado, edamame, chilli, sesame and crispy onions to name a few. The one thing that remains constant though: good quality translucent cubes of fresh fish.
Something that has begun with humble origins is slowly rising as a culinary icon. I’d highly recommend riding the wave of this Hawaii Regional Cuisine!
What we all want to know is where to find them! Shaka Poké are trading at Fitzwilliam Square on Thursday, Stillorgan Luas Stop on Friday and from today onwards in Dún Laoghaire between the sea and People’s Park!
**Food for thought
- The origin of poké is a bit of a mystery, but as the story goes, Hawaiian fisherman would season fresh cut-offs from their daily catch as a snack during a long day. Their nickname for this simple meal – “Poké”
- Shaka is a Hawaiian hand gesture that originally means, “to hang loose or chill”. A gang of surfers visiting Hawaii in the 1960s adopted this friendly gesture of intent and to this day it is given as a sign of praise if someone has done something pretty cool or simply to say hello and goodbye
- Poké is everywhere in Hawaii, ubiquitous at family gatherings, parties and supermarkets. Apparently the average supermarkets can store in and around 20 home-made varieties. It’s expected that this trend is going to be making a lot of noise across the globe!