International Poke Day Date in the current year: September 28, 2024

International Poke Day International Poke Day is celebrated annually on September 28. It was created in honor of a Hawaiian raw fish dish that has become popular in other parts of the world over the past decade or so.

Poke is a Hawaiian dish made from diced raw fish or seafood. Its name can be translated from Hawaiian as “to dice” or “to cut into pieces”. One of the main dishes of Native Hawaiian cuisine, poke can be served as an appetizer or a main course. Its main difference from other raw fish dishes that exist in other cuisines, such as South American ceviche, is that it does not use lime, lemon or other citrus fruits as a curing agent.

Poke began as a snack that Hawaiian fishermen made by seasoning cut-offs from their catch with salt, various spices, and seaweed. Poke in its present form became popular around the 1970s. It consisted of skipjack tuna (aku) fillet seasoned with Hawaiian salt, seaweed (limu), and inamona (a traditional Hawaiian condiment made from roasted and crushed kukui nuts). Traditional Hawaiian poke can be made with octopus instead of tuna and contain other seasonings such as sesame seed oil, soy sauce, chili pepper, and green onion.

In the early 2010s, poke began to enjoy increasing popularity in mainland North America and have since spread to the rest of the world from there. Most restaurants today serve the modern version of the dish that is often called a poke bowl. Most often, a poke bowl consists of a base layer of boiled rice, sushi-grade raw fish or seafood, vegetables and other toppings, with the addition of various seasonings and sauces. The toppings are usually arranged in groups over the rice rather then mixed together.

Although aku tuna is the most popular kind of fish used in poke bowls, restaurants usually offer a variety of other options such as crab, salmon, shellfish, surimi (imitation crab meat), octopus, and yellowtail. The main difference between traditional Hawaiian poke and poke bowl is that traditional poke is made with pre-marinated fish.

Common toppings, sauces and seasonings that can be used to make the modern version of poke include avocado, carrots, cilantro, cucumber, edamame beans, fish eggs, green onions, mushrooms, onions, pickled jalapeño, pineapple, ponzu sauce, seaweed, soy sauce, sriracha sauce, teriyaki sauce, tofu (which can be used instead of fish in vegetarian poke bowls), wasabi, and a variety of other ingredients popular in fusion cuisine.

International Poke Day was created by Angela Wong, who co-founded Splash Poke in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with her partner. You can celebrate the holiday by going out to your favorite place that has poke on the menu and enjoying the dish, learning to make poke yourself (just keep in mind that the fish you use should be as fresh as possible), or throwing a Hawaiian-themed party for your friends and family.

And don’t forget to snap a photo of your poke bowl and post in on social media with the hashtags #InternationalPokeDay and #PokeDay to spread the world about the holiday and encourage others to indulge.

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International Poke Day, international observances, food days, food-related holidays, poke, Hawaiian cuisine