Hot Culinary Trend: Poke Bowls
Pronounced “POH-keh”, Poke Bowls are the latest culinary craze to hit kitchens across North America, being named one of the hottest health trends of 2017. Thanks to their perfect mixture of picture-worthy aesthetics, healthy ingredients and flexibility, Poke Bowls have quickly become very popular among Millennials looking for new and interesting ways to experience seafood.
Originally from Hawaii, Poke Bowls are made using raw cubes of seafood in a soy sauce-based marinade, fresh vegetables and a variety of spices. They’re a great way to flex your culinary creativity and move a lot of produce and protein at the same time.
“With a base of Togarashi-seasoned rice, crunchy tempura bits and seaweed, it’s a fantastic blend of textures, colours and flavours. You can take what would have been a seafood chowder and turn it into a shareable format that still delivers the experience of comfort food." - Philman George, High Liner Culinary Corporate Chef
And if you don’t want to use raw seafood in your Poke Bowl, you can also use fully cooked shrimp like we did in the Soy & Togarashi Marinated Shrimp Poke Bowl recipe below.
Soy & Togarashi Marinated Shrimp Poke Bowl
24 pcs 31-40 ct. Pacific white shrimp, tail-off, thawed
1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce
1/3 cup mirin (or seasoned rice wine vinegar)
1 tsp. Togarashi powder
Sweet Potato Marinade
3 cups sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp. white miso
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp. Japanese soy sauce
1 tbsp. mirin
2 pickled serrano chilis, thinly sliced on bias
2 sheets nori, julienne
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
4 green onions, thinly sliced on bias
1/2 cup shelled edamame
Shrimp: Combine the shrimp marinade ingredients and shrimp in a bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Sweet Potato: Whisk together the vegetable oil, miso, maple syrup and black pepper—adding in the cubes of sweet potato once you’re done. Place the mixture on a parchment lined baking tray and bake at 400 degrees for approx. 20-25 minutes or until soft and caramelized. Set aside for service.
Sauce: Combine the avocado, cilantro, lime juice, soy, mirin, and buttermilk in a blender (hand blender will suffice) and puree on high speed until smooth.
Shrimp: In a cast iron or non-stick skillet, sear the marinated shrimp 2-3 minutes over high heat until cooked through.
To plate: In a large salad bowl, bed 1 cup of rice and arrange 3/4 cup sweet potato, 2 tbsp. of drained edamame, and 6 marinated shrimp in three piles on top. Drizzle 3 tbsp. of sauce on top and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. of sliced green onions. Garnish with 6-8 pickled serrano chili slices, a pinch of sesame seeds, a few cilantro leaves, and approximately half a sheet of julienne nori.
Chef’s tip: Strategically position your ingredients in different quadrants of the bowl to showcase the colour contrast of your protein, starch and vegetables.