This Hawaiian specialty has cruised to the mainland and is quickly spreading across the U.S. Traditional poke, pronounced "po-kay," is cubed, fresh raw seafood (usually tuna or octopus) mixed with soy sauce, green onions and sesame oil and served over rice.
Last December, the National Restaurant Association named poke a hot trend for 2017 after surveying almost 1,300 professional chefs to determine menu trends for the coming year. The dish has since become a staple at restaurant chains.
Although Pokeworks, a Poke-centric restaurant, was ahead of this trend. The restaurant, which was founded in 2015, serves a wide variety of this dish and even allows customers to create their own bowls.
"People enjoy culturally diverse foods," Kevin Hsu, co-founder of Pokeworks, told CNBC via email. "In addition, poke meets current consumer desires for healthier fast-casual options and a greater awareness for well-sourced ingredients."
Hsu called Poke a "relative" of sushi, making it easily accessible to folks who already enjoy that kind of cuisine.
"Our goal is to be a highly customizable and healthy, yet creative, meal," he said. "For a cuisine that consumers are still learning about and curious to try, the selection of traditional ingredients from Hawaii that can be custom built suits the needs of today's many dietary restrictions."