What began as a Hawaiian fishermen's snack is now spreading across the D.C. area. Poke, the raw fish dish, can be found everywhere from multiple interpretations at Arlington Hawaiian restaurant Hula Girl to hand roll and bowl versions at downtown's Maki Shop. Pop-up and truck operation Abunai even offers poke made with tofu instead of tuna (D.C. saw another poke pop-up, Poke Pop D.C., in May at Prequel, too). There's also a new Northern Virginia Poké-Man food truck that couldn't have started rolling at a better time with the Pokémon craze in full effect.
The team behind Chasin' Tails also plans to do a vegetarian version in addition to traditional fish when poke goes fast-casual at Lei'd later this year. California's Honeyfish Poke also is looking to expand here.
It's said that poke was first made when fishermen in Hawaiian began mixing throw-away scraps of fish with seasonings to have as a snack. Although poke can be made with raw octopus, salmon, or even shellfish, it's usually associated with tuna now.
Today seasonings and toppings typically have a Japanese bent. Soy sauce, green onions, sesame seeds, furikake, and wasabi are common, but some D.C restaurants are getting experimental and making it with preserved lime, Macadamia nut, or toasted coconut.
— Updated by Tierney Plumb and Missy FrederickRead More