Poké means cut or slice in Hawaiian. In this case, it refers to morsels of raw fish that have been marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, often accompanied by sweet onions, chopped scallion, seaweed, chili pepper (or a similarly spicy component like sriracha chili sauce), ginger, and occasionally roasted crushed candlenuts or macadamia nuts.
Think of it as sashimi dressed up as a fashion plate or perhaps Hawaii’s answer to ceviche.
In Japanese, donburi (丼), often truncated to simply don, means “bowl” and refers to a bowl of rice served with numerous options of simmered toppings: pokedon is a bowl of poké over rice. Although not impossible to find in our fair city (as a matter of fact, I suspect it’s poised to be the Next Big Thing around these parts), I was surprised to see a grab ‘n’ go rendition at Dainobu, the Japanese deli and grocery chain. Considering the fact that I’ve been spoiled by stores like Mitsuwa in Edgewater, New Jersey and Sunrise Mart on Stuyvesant Street in the East Village, I was happy to discover a dizzying array of all things Japanese including an udon bar in the back. Even better, you’ll find both salmon and tuna pokedon there.
I gussied mine up with some pickled ginger and furikake (a mixture of seaweed, sesame seeds, dried bonito and the like, available in a panoply of variations). But the squeeze of lemon that was included in the bowl was just what it needed to get its game on.
Found at Dainobu
498 Sixth Avenue near West 13th Street
New York, NY