Hi all! Happy Friday!
Typically I publish blog posts as an anonymous source for iTrackBites. But today I’m revealing my identity to share a fun recent experiment I conducted in my kitchen! My name is Alli Stark, I run the marketing team here at iTrackBites. I mainly serve in roles of creating and planning content, scheduling out our communication efforts for the coming months, and yes- writing these blog posts. In my free time, I LOVE to make things: paintings, decor vignettes, new outfit combinations, and anything yummy that my husband and I get to taste test. Upon a recent trip to Costa Rica, we’ve fallen in love with POKE bowls! In my true creative/head-strong nature; we decided that “we can totally make these at home!”. Famous last words, right? Here we are, a week later sharing the experience of bringing the vacation back with us, and making a POKE bowl at home!
The POKE bowls that we had on vacation were great because they’re light yet filling. A combination that I am always trying to perfect! The combination of rice to greens to fish to yummy sauces was just PRIME, in my opinion! Now, in full disclosure, this POKE bowl venture includes raw fish. I know that it’s not for everyone, and some would venture far enough to say I’m crazy. Nevertheless… I just love fish! Raw and cooked! As you proceed through my narrative, take heart in the notion that there are plenty of cooked protein substitutes. I only speak about the raw fish because I actually had the opportunity to catch them myself. Maybe next time, we can focus on a less controversial protein source?
After a couple of Pinterest searches, and a phone call or two to my dad (the tuna expert), I made a list and hit the grocery aisles. I determined that a really well made sushi rice was going to be the game changer for this bowl. Thankfully, I found a trustworthy recipe on Pinterest that catered to several different rice gadget options. I’m old school and used the good ole stove top. But again, THIS resource was diligent about including several options.
Here are a few of the ingredients that I grabbed from my local grocery store for my DIY POKE Bowl!
Not pictured, is the sushi grade yellowfin Ahi Tuna that I purchased from the meat section of HEB. It’s important to note that if you are going to be consuming raw fish, it needs to be the highest grade/ quality possible (in my opinion). Part of the reason that we ate so much raw Tuna on my recent vacation was because of a deep sea fishing trip that my family took.
Here is me reeling in a few nights’ worth of dinner in Costa Rica!
As far as the preparation for the tuna goes, I did the bare minimum! I cut off the amount of tuna I was wanting to keep raw (I seared a few pieces for an appetizer!). After placing the tuna in a small dish, I doused it in a bit of soy sauce (about 2-3 tablespoons), sealed the dish with plastic wrap and popped it into the refrigerator to marinate. See below
Also not pictured above is all of the produce that I bought to build our bowls. The POKE combination that I liked the best had a lot of greens and a few items that brought some crunch, so that’s what led me in picking out produce!
Here are a few of the things that I chopped up to fill our POKE bowls!
As far as the actual assembly goes; there’s not much to tell! It was simple and fun! My husband and I both filled our bowls with about equal amounts of things so that we could both experience similar flavors. We both topped our bowls with Tamari Soy Sauce and a yummy spicy mayo that I found in the sushi section of HEB.
Here was our final product:
As far as tracking goes, I also had to get a bit creative, ha! I’ll only speak to calories because that’s what I’m currently tracking with and it’s a nice universal metric. I purchased about 3/4 of a pound of tuna from HEB. I used half for the seared appetizers and half for our bowls. Assuming that my husband and I split that half evenly, I would guess that I ate about 3 ounces of raw tuna in my bowl. Based on the iTrackBites listing, and a few online resources, I determined that amount of tuna would be about 90 calories. Below you’ll see my tracking screenshots from all of the other elements. With the addition of about 100 calories worth of soy sauce and spicy mayo, I rounded the dinner out to be about 775 calories!
In review, the bowls were totally delicious! Not quiiiiiite the same as the experience of a beach side POKE bowl in Costa Rica with fish we caught just hours before… but maybe my expectations were too high ;). I’ll definitely be making this dish again and iterating more combinations. I hope that this light hearted experience was shared in good graces with a helpful posture. I had a lot of fun creating something new, like this at home.
If you could- what kind of “vacation style” foods would you make at home?? Better yet, are you a POKE lover, like me? What foods do you like to include? Leave a comment below!