I don’t know about you, but I love Poke. Poke is fresh and delicious, versatile and healthy.
What is Poke? Poke is basically a sushi bowl. You know how Chipotle has burrito bowls with Southwest inspired ingredients? Chile lime rice, carne asada, black beans, corn salsa, guacamole? Poke bowls are the Asian equivalent. You toss sushi, rice, and other Asian inspired ingredients into a bowl.
When I fell in love with Poke, I knew this would make the perfect DIY dinner party.
I love DIY dinner parties! This kind of meal requires guests to assemble their own meal in a bowl. Each meal can be mixed and customized to individual preference. Guests can add a little more of this or less of that. Everyone’s chatting and passing bowls to each other. The vibe is casual and relaxed.
DIY dinners can also solve the problem of the modern dinner party: what to serve that can accommodate vegetarians, gluten-free or dairy-free eaters, picky eaters, and voracious carnivores at the same table? Poke Bowls!!!
Plus, everything can be prepped beforehand for stress-free hosting. If you’ve ever invited friends over for a meal, you know this is the key to connecting around the table.
For Poke Bowls, the hardest part is finding sushi-grade salmon or tuna. I buy mine at the local Galleria, H-Mart, or T & T (Asian grocers). If your town lacks an Asian grocery or a fish monger that sells sushi grade fish, try calling your local sushi restaurant. Some sell salmon and tuna by the pound as a take out item. You can bring it home and cut the fish into cubes yourself.
Making a Poke Bowl Dinner Party is more of a method than a recipe. It’s more about assembling and arranging, rather than cooking.
Here’s the method:
Start with rice. I like to serve brown rice with poke. The texture is more firm, the taste more assertive. Follow the package directions. If you have the time, let it soak for 30-60 minutes before cooking. For every person in your party, 1/4 cup of brown rice (uncooked) is about right. Some will eat more, others will eat less. If you have a lot of carb lovers, you can estimate 1/2 cup of brown rice (uncooked) for each person.
Prep the sushi grade salmon or tuna. Cut raw fish into 1 inch cubes with a very sharp knife. A generous serving is 1/2 pound per person. Put into bowl. Drizzle with soy sauce and a little bit of Mirin or Sake (about 1 tsp each per 1 lb fish). Add some finely chopped red onion. Mix and set aside.
Make the sauces. I like to offer two kinds.
Sweet Mirin & Soy Sauce – 2 Tb Mirin, 2 Tb Soy Sauce, 1 Tb chopped red onion.
Spicy Sriracha Mayo – 1/2 cup Mayo, 1 Tb Sriracha. Adjust according to preference.
Prep the toppings. There are so many toppings to choose from! You can pick and choose what you like best. I’ve never made the same Poke dinner party twice because the varieties are truly endless. Just make sure to have different textures, colors, and tastes. You can julienne, grate, dice, or chop each item and serve in separate bowls. The presentation is very simple yet very impressive!
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Mixed Salad Greens
- Seaweed or Wakame (Found in the refrigerated, prepared food aisle at most Asian grocers)
- Spicy Jalapeno Chips (Ms. Vickie’s, Tim’s Cascade, Hawaiian Hulapeno, etc.)
- Fish eggs (Found in the freezer section at most Asian grocers)
- Red Cabbage
- Green Onion
- Red Onion
Here’s a party I prepped for 5 people:
From left to right, top to bottom:
Salad Greens. Fish eggs. Salmon. Seaweed Salad. Carrots.
Green onion. Cilantro. Sweet Mirin Soy Sauce. Spicy Sriracha Mayo. Cucumbers. Jalapeno Chips.
Here’s another party I prepped for 10:
The basic elements remain the same as the party for five. I simply included more quantity and variety to the table.
The next time you throw a dinner party, consider a Poke Bowl DIY Dinner Party. So fun! So easy! So delicious!