This is real poke. Locally caught fish, inamona, kukui nut oil, onions, and real Hawaiian salt.
Many of you know my disdain for mainland poke. Poke is political for me. The representation is inaccurate; disrespectful. Poke ingredients have historical reverence. The mainland treats poke as the latest and greatest food trend. The capitalistic cultural appropriation is ruining the authenticity of cuisine that is significant to the Hawaiian culture. Poke is a celebration of local Hawaiian flavors. Covering poke with coconut, mango, kale and edamame and serving it over rice is as far and away from traditional poke as possible. Mainland "poke" shops have conditioned people to believe they are eating real poke, so when they come to Hawaii they don't understand why they’re unable to customize their “bowl” and why they can't have rice and “toppings.” (cringe)
I hate seeing mainland “poke” as a “healthy” food trend. Poke is the wheel that didn’t need to be reinvented. Traditional poke is delicious, but mainland poke shops owners made a choice to cover it up with additives like fruit, kale, sweet sauce and rice. I value tradition and my culture, and it saddens me to know people on the mainland may never really enjoy real poke when they’ve been taught to believe the cartoon caricature they’ve been eating is poke.
If you’re in Oahu tomorrow, @chefsamchoy
are hosting a symposium on why the mainland is fascinated by Hawaiian food in Kaka’ako. I’m looking forward to a great discussion.