In our last blog post, we discussed the endless variety of poke bowls and how poke bowls have evolved from simplistic creations of a fish and seaweed with some added salt, to marvelous creations of not only fish and seaweed, but also rice, chicken, quinoa, tacos, nachos, and endless more. The International Poke Company offers the best poke bowl creations in Colorado Springs, from our market salads that consist of Superfood Kale Slaw edamame, mango, kale, cashews, and napa cabbage with pomegranate vinaigrette to our Firecracker Ahi Tuna that comes in a creamy spicy sauce, and is topped with edamame, scallions, wasabi furikake, bean sprouts, and shredded nori and can be served on a bed of white or brown rice.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can build your own poke bowl, as well as how to mix it up easily and simply. Visit us in Colorado Springs today!
HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN POKE BOWL
As most of you know, poke bowls are made with simple ingredients that consists of a fish, seaweed, and salt traditionally. However, rice, vegetables, and noodles are now frequent additions to this classic dish. Onions, scallions, and ginger are frequent additives as well. We all have our favorite foods and poke, being one of the most healthiest foods you can eat, is easily customizable. Below, are the steps to making your custom poke bowl.
- Choose your base. Your base will be the main ingredient in your poke bowl. This can be brown or white rice, quinoa, seaweed, leafy greens, noodles of any variety, or even potatoes. One of the most important things to remember when creating your custom poke bowl is that there is no right or wrong ingredients. The purpose of food is to fuel your body and give you energy so you are able to do whatever you want to do, such as play soccer with your friends, go out for coffee, or go for a walk through the park. However, just because food’s primary purpose is so we can stay alive doesn’t mean that it has to taste blah. In fact, the better food tastes, the healthier you will normally eat because you can throw in all the good foods for your body, such as fruits, vegetables, and proteins, even if they don’t taste quite so good raw.
- Choose your protein. This, of course, will be your fish option. Traditionally, ahi tuna or salmon has been the go-to for custom poke bowls, mainly due to the appeal of their pink color against the green of the seaweed. However, the International Poke Company in Colorado Springs believes that there is no right or wrong fish for your custom poke bowl. You can choose from catfish, codfish, and swordfish to octopus, shrimp, and tilapia. Again, when it’s your custom poke bowl, you choose what you like. Here at the International Poke Company, we offer Ahi tuna, Albacore Tuna, Shrimp, or Atlantic salmon, all of which are marinated in different sauces for your choosing. We also offer options for vegans and vegetarians as well, with your protein being either organic firm tofu or jackfruit. Remember the fish or protein portion of your custom poke bowl is the heart of your meal, so you’ll want to spend some time marinating your poke to taste. Popular options to marinate your poke include soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes. However, the sky is the limit here, and you can choose to try instead a mustard or mayonnaise base instead, or spice it up with sriracha sauce.
- Choose your dressing. We briefly talked about marinades above. However, your dressing will make or break your custom poke bowl. The fatter your cut of fish, the more marinade it will absorb, so keep that in mind when choosing if you want spicy or mild. Traditionally, ponzu, shoyu, gochujang, and spicy black bean pastes are used. However, any sauce of your choosing will work, even such pre-made sauces as spaghetti sauce or alfredo sauce. Don’t be afraid to experiment with what you like best here. Here at the International Poke Company in Colorado Springs, we use our own dressings we create, such as Korean BBQ sauce, a creamy avocado-based sauce, a ginger scallion sauce, or the more traditional Hawaiian classic soy sauce. If you have a preference on sauces, let us know. You can choose any of our poke bowls with different sauce varieties.
- Choose your toppings. Most of us go to the ice cream shop not because we want the ice cream, but because we want the toppings of our choosing on top of the ice cream. Similarly, the toppings you choose for your custom poke bowl will be your icing on the cake and will leave your custom poke bowl tasting fabulous and one you won’t want to put down. Keep in mind texture, contrast, and balance when choosing your poke bowl toppings. Here are our selections below:
- Fruits and vegetables. Common toppings for your custom poke bowl of the fruit and vegetable variety include avocado, mango slices, bean sprouts, shelled edamame, radish, peppers, cucumbers, scallions, jalapenos, pineapple, or pears. Fruits and vegetables are a great place to add a theme to your custom poke bowl, such as Chinese based or Hawaiian based, which is great for dinner parties as well.
- Nuts, seeds, and/or spices. Traditionally, poke bowls are served with candlenuts. However, any kind of nut you prefer tastes amazing in a custom poke bowl. Other popular nut choosings include sliced or shaved almonds, macadamia nuts, or peanuts. You can also choose to add a seed instead to achieve the desired crunch flavor you are seeking, such as roasted sesame seeds, chia seeds, or sunflower seeds. Popular spices for poke bowls include shichimi togarashi or gochugaru. However, if for example you’re in the mood for Indian food, why not throw some curry powder on your poke? Custom poke bowls are so versatile you can turn them into whatever you’re in the mood for.
- Added sauces for hot (or not). Let’s face it, if you’re someone who always orders the spiciest selection off every restaurant menu you visit (spicy in terms of hotness), then you’ll probably want to spice up your custom poke bowl. Consider wasabi peas, grated Serrano chiles, red Fresno chiles, or jalapenos to add a kick to your custom poke bowl.
- Onions of sorts. When you visit a poke bowl restaurant, such as The International Poke Company in Colorado Springs, you’ll be offered a variety of what is called alliums. Alliums is the word for the bulbous plant species that includes onions, shallots, garlic, leeks, and chives. The scallion is the traditional allium used in poke bowls; however, all of these complement your poke bowl nicely.
- Pickled or vinegar taste. A recent and popular addition to poke bowls are the pickle family, which includes pickled ginger, cucumbers, red onions, and mushrooms. These add a nice tang to your poke that is hard to beat in terms of flavor.
At the International Poke Company in Colorado Springs, we believe in customizing your poke bowl to how you like it. We offer a variety of bases for you to choose from, as well as many types of fish. Our toppings can be added or detracted as you see fit. Our sauces can be mixed and matched in different poke bowls as well. We even offer unique market salad options, which emphasize vegetables in a more traditional serving size. Our mission is to bring you the best in poke bowls, which are healthy and soothing. As the best poke bowl restaurant in Colorado Springs, you can’t go wrong with any of our amazing selections of poke bowls. Or, be adventurous, and create your own from our amazing ingredients. Try our poke bowls for your new favorite comfort food today!