The Perfect Summer Meal: Big Island Poke

The Poke craze started in Hawaii but is making its way all over North America. Poke is a raw fish salad from Hawaiian cuisine which is healthy and delicious. With a few Poke restaurants opening up later this year, Poke will definitely be part of the next food craze in Vancouver.


I couldn’t wait to try Poke, so heading south of the border was my chance at trying this Hawaiian dish. A little further down from Seattle sits Big Island Poke in the small city of Renton, WA.

In this “Subway-style” restaurant you build your own Poke bowl using fresh ingredients.

  1. BASE: rice, salad, or tortilla chips
  2. PROTEIN: tuna, salmon, octopus, or crab
  3. TOPPINGS: avocado, cucumber, furikake, green onion, masago, sesame seeds, sweet onion
  4. SIDES & SAUCES: seaweed salad, kimchi cucumber salad, and sauces like wasabi mayo and siracha garlic aioli


On the left is the Hawaiian: tuna, green & sweet onion, sesame seeds, limu, shoyu, sesame oil on brown rice. I also added cucumber, seaweed salad, and wasabi mayo (spicy!)


On the right is a self creation: Hawaiian tuna and spicy ahi tuna on white rice with cucumber, seaweed salad, tobiko, and arugula salad.

In the mason jar is the Big Island Poke home-made Passionfruit Lemonade. Super refreshing and great souvenir to take home!


The ingredients were all very fresh and I liked the creativity in the sauces. My only concern was that I couldn’t taste the fish very well (but maybe that’s because the other flavours overpowered the fish).

I had a pleasant experience at Big Island Poke and service was fast, the place was clean, and the food was decently priced (around $11 per bowl).

I can’t wait to try the Poke restaurants that open up in Vancouver, but for now, Big Island Poke is my Poke place to go.


Photo credits to Nathan Ng