The Deluxe Poke Bowl at Aloha Cookin’ is a filling fish dish overflowing with flavors. On an otherwise meat-heavy menu, this poke is a proper pescatarian preparation primed for you to dive into its oceanic glory.
The Deluxe Poke Bowl
350 Albert St., East Lansing
Unlike some restaurants, this fish/veggie option is not an afterthought. For me, this core dish holds its own against their beef and pork barbeque classics.
I’ve been eating at Aloha Cookin’ regularly since it opened last fall, and the Deluxe Poke bowl is consistently fresh and tasty. The meal is $17.95 and comes with soup, making for a lovely weeknight dinner. Even in a takeout container, the plating instantly captures your sense of sight with colorful shades of pink, green and orange. It could be snowing outside (and it will be soon), but these bright colors would brighten your day. I like to eat poke in the summer, but I need to eat poke in the winter.
If you don’t know, poke (pronounced like “okay”) is a raw fish dish native to Hawaii. Aloha’s Deluxe Poke Bowl includes raw tuna, raw salmon, avocado, seaweed salad, greens, crab sticks, edamame, roasted seaweed, sesame seeds and masago served on rice. It’s a lot of different flavors that all complement and elevate each other.
There are tangy pickled veggies, crunchy cucumbers and carrots, creamy roe and raw fish resting under a dash of sesame seeds and green onions. The base is white rice. Smooth fish and creamy avocados contrast the acidic pickled daikon (a giant white radish) and earthy red onion.
It comes with a choice of four sauces: Roasted Sesame, Spicy Mayo, Lemon Ginger or Gochujang (a popular red chili paste). The dish is not spicy, save for the choice of sauce. I typically go for the Gochujang and the spicy mayo. Spicy mayo, while I have you here, should be in your fridge. It is a perfect condiment.
Just when you get to the bottom of the Deluxe Poke Bowl, when your chopsticks are scraping for those last few bits of rice, don’t forget you still have one more flavor to enjoy: a soothing side of umami-packed miso soup sprinkled with a few green onions.
From tangy to crunchy, from spicy to earthy, the Deluxe Poke Bowl is a protein-rich, seaside dream that perfectly serves up a slice of Hawaii’s coastal cuisine.
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