Ceviche and poke are very similar dishes, but what’s the difference?

At International Poke Company in Colorado Springs, we get this question quite often from our poke restaurant guests, so we’ve decided to write a blog post on the topic.

Ceviche, also called cebiche or seviche, is a wonderful seafood dish that is often made from fresh raw fish that has been cured in citrus juices (think lemon and lime juice). When you marinate raw fish and seafood in citrus juice, the acid in the citrus denatures the proteins in the fish. This causes the fish to appear opaque in color, while also producing a firm texture.

The marinating process of ceviche is incredibly important. If you marinate your raw fish and seafood for too short amount of time, your seafood will be raw. If you marinate it too long, on the other hand, your seafood will turn out rubbery (in the case of octopus and shrimp), or chalky and crumbly, in the case of sea bass, grouper, flounder, and other fish. The most important thing to remember in the marinating process is that the longer your fish sits in acid, the more it cooks. Most ceviche experts say the sweet spot to marinate is between 10 to 15 minutes.

This South American dish often uses ingredients like onions, cilantro, chiles, and on occasion, tomatoes. Many people like to throw some avocado in their ceviche for some additional fat, and since the avocado will be covered in citrus juices, you don’t have to worry about it turning brown. You’ll find that ceviche is a popular dish in Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru.

Many people like to serve ceviche with crackers, such as saltines, but you can also use things like pita chips or plain bagels. If you want an authentic South American taste of ceviche, consider pairing it with corn kernels or plantain chips.

  • Common Raw Seafood Used In Ceviche: shrimp, white fish, squid, shark
  • Often Served With: fried green plantains, popcorn, fried tortillas, or chips

Now That You Know What Ceviche Is, How Does It Differ From Poke?

Good question. Poke is a Hawaiian term that translates to, “to cut or slice,” in this case, referring to the chunks of raw, marinated fish that can be found in poke. This healthy and customizable dish has made its way from Hawaii to the United States, and can be found in gas stations, roadside stands, and five-star restaurants.

Your typical poke bowl will start with a choice of protein. Many people love to use fish like tuna and salmon, but the choice is ultimately up to you. Once you have your protein of choice picked out, you’ll choose a base layer of rice, or another low-carb option, for your poke bowl. Warm rice is usually a great juxtaposition against cold tuna and fish, but if you’re trying to watch your carb intake, consider getting something like zucchini noodles instead.

Once you have chosen a base layer for your poke bowl, it’s time to move onto your choice of dressing. Most of the time, poke bowl sauces are a mixture of soy sauce, shoyu, or ponzu. You can then add your choice of vegetables, such as shaved onion, seaweed, and avocado.

  • Common Raw Seafood Used In Poke: ahi tuna, octopus, salmon, sushi-grade fish
  • Often Served With: rice, vegetables, and dressing

Authentic Poke Restaurant In Colorado Springs

If you live near Colorado Springs and you’re interested in trying the delicious dish that is poke, stop by the International Poke Company for some authentic poke. Our chef-inspired, environmentally-friendly poke can be customized to meet your needs and taste buds for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Whether you’re interested in trying poke from Peru, Thailand, or Hawaii, we can create a dish that you’re sure to love. Some of our most popular poke dishes include:

North Shore Ahi Tuna – Many of our poke restaurant guests love this traditional, Hawaiian classic dish with soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper, scallions, seaweed, jalapenos, edamame, and cucumbers, served on white rice.

Kung Pao Albacore – If you like spicy, you’ll love this poke bowl. Made with spicy chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, toasted cashews, scallions, snow peas, and brown rice, this is a must-have at our Colorado Springs poke restaurant.