A few years ago, I spent a month in Costa Rica. On this trip, I met Caliche, a surfer and owner of Caliche’s Wishbone, a restaurant where local surfers loved to gather. And it was there that I discovered poké, a Hawaiian style chopped fish “salad,” where cubes of glorious raw tuna or salmon get tossed in a dressing usually consisting of tamari, sesame oil and green onion. Often topped with chopped avocado and served over rice, poké is a clean eater’s dream meal. Soon I was eating poké at Wishbone daily, and found that it perfectly fueled me for daily surfing and yoga.
If you follow food these days, you may have noticed that poké is having a moment. It’s popping up on restaurant menus, food blogs, and of course, Instagram. With bowls being the preferred way to eat beautifully layered healthy ingredients, adding some omega-3 rich raw fish is a natural way to boost protein and deliciousness.
But here I present to you a different take on the raw fish poké, a poké made with cubes of ruby red beets. It’s not that I don’t love traditional poke. I do. I just have a proclivity towards eating plant based, and I like finding new and healthy ways to enjoy food in my own kitchen (like my Mushroom Ceviche). And after a rather messy attempt at beet tartare, I figured that poké might be a better idea. And wait until you see that beautiful rendered magenta beet sauce all over the rice. Pretty sure that raw tuna can’t do that.
- 4 regular beets
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 bunch spinach, washed and trimmed
- 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup tamari
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- Dash red chili flakes
- White sesame seeds
- First, roast the beets by scrubbing, wrapping in tin foil and putting in an oven heated to 350. Let roast for an hour and once cool, slip off skins. (I like to do this the day before for easier prep.)
- Chop beets into ½” dice and combine with tamari, sesame oil and green onion. There should be extra liquid – if there isn’t enough, add more tamari and sesame oil in the same 2:1 ratio until the beets look saucy. Refrigerate.
- Cook the rice according to package directions.
- While rice is cooking, roughly chop the spinach and steam until tender. Set aside to cool.
- Once the rice is cooked, set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Assemble the poke bowls by dividing the rice among 4 bowls. Top each bowl with spinach and the beet mixture, including the liquid. Cut the avocado into ½” cubes and add to bowls. Top with a generous sprinkle of white sesame seeds and some thinly sliced nori, if you like.
- Serves 4
Wishing you plant-based poké love. xo Andrea