Poke (fish salad)

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Ahi tuna poke made with Shoyu soy sauce, sea salt, green onions, maui onions and Limu seaweed.
Poke with ahi poke (yellow-fin tuna poke) made with green onions, chili peppers, sea salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, roasted kukui nut (candlenut), and limukohu seaweed, shown here served on a bed of red cabbage
Spicy tuna poke made with sriracha and mayonnaise sauce covered in flying fish roe.

Poke /pˈk/ is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine. Pokē is the Hawaiian verb for "section" or "to slice or cut". Ahi poke is generally made with yellowfin tuna but in modern poke recipes raw salmon, smoked octopus, to various shell fish and generally any bite size appetizer seasoned with the common "poke" seasonings can be considered Poke.[1]


Modern poke can be found with a myriad amount of different ingredients and combinations. Aside from the common basic ingredients such as soy sauce and sea salt poke can be seasoned with ingredients such as, inamona (roasted crushed candlenut), sesame oil, limu seaweed, and chopped chili pepper, fish eggs, wasabi, green onions, Maui onions, sriracha, mayonnaise. Other variations of poke may include cured heʻe (octopus), other types of raw tuna, raw salmon and various kinds of shell fish.[2]

The selection of condiments has been heavily influenced by Japanese and other Asian cuisines.

Octopus poke with Kim chi, sesame seed oil, crushed chili and sea salt.
Boiled shrimp seasoned with seaseme seed oil, sea salt, onions, chili, and cucumbers.
Tako Poke.jpg
He'e (octopus) poke with tomatoes, green onion, maui onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, sea salt, and chili pepper
Type Salad
Course Appetizer
Place of origin United States
Region or state Hawaii
Main ingredients Yellowfin tuna, sea salt, soy sauce, inamona, sesame oil, limu seaweed, chili pepper
Cookbook: Poke  Media: Poke


The traditional Hawaiian poke consists of meat that has been gutted, skinned, and deboned. It is sliced across the backbone as fillet, then served with traditional condiments such as sea salt, candlenut, seaweed, and limu. Some Hawaiians would suck the flesh off the bones and spit out the skin and bones. During the 19th century, recently introduced foreign vegetables such as tomatoes and onions were included, and now Maui onions are a very common ingredient.[3]

According to the food historian Rachel Laudan, the present form of poke became popular around the 1970s. It used skinned, deboned, and filleted raw fish served with wasabi and soy sauce. This form of poke is still common in the Hawaiian islands.

Use in other foods[edit]

Ko Olina’s Pizza Corner restaurant in Kapolei, Hawaii developed a pizza called "Original Hawaiian Poke Pizza", which uses poke on pizza.[4]

Similar dishes[edit]

Raw fish dishes similar to poke, often served in Europe, are fish carpaccio and fish tartare. See also Hoedeopbap, a Korean cuisine, marinated raw tuna served over rice. Japanese sashimi also consist of raw fish or other animals.

See also[edit]


  • Laudan, Rachel. The Food of Fish, University of Hawai'i Press, 1996
  • Titcomb, Margaret. The Native Use of Fish in America'i, University of Hawai'i Press, 1972


  1. ^ meghan. "Make Hawaii-style ahi poke wherever you are. Here's a recipe.". Hawaii Magazine. Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  2. ^ meghan. "Make Hawaii-style ahi poke wherever you are. Here's a recipe.". Hawaii Magazine. Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  3. ^ "Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Poke Recipe and History, How To Make Poke, Whats Cooking America". whatscookingamerica.net. Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  4. ^ O’Connor, Christina (May 21, 2014). "Ko Olina Poke Pizza Dish Wins Big At International Competition". Midweek. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 

External links[edit]