Why Do I Crave Poke? List of 9 Top Reasons

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For those of you who don’t know, poke is a Hawaiian dish that traditionally consists of cubes of raw fish that are marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, then served over rice. Poke has become extremely popular in recent years, with poke joints popping up all over the country. But why do so many crave poke, or even crave chocolate for that matter? Let’s explore some of the reasons why.

What is Poke?

Poke is an island-based dish that was popular for decades with fresh cooked seafood and topped by onions and seaweed. The seafood was usually either Ahi Tuna, Salmon, or Ono. It is now a very popular dish in the mainland United States, especially in California and Hawaii.

The dish is simple but can be quite tasty. The key to a great poke bowl is using the freshest seafood possible and marinating it in a flavorful sauce. sauces can be as simple as soy sauce and sesame oil or more complex with multiple ingredients. Once the seafood is properly marinated, it is then placed on top of a bed of rice and vegetables.

Poke bowls are perfect for a quick lunch or dinner and can be easily customized to your liking. So whether you’re a fan of fish or not, there’s sure to be a poke bowl recipe out there for you!

1. It’s healthy.

Poke is packed with protein and healthy fats, making it a great option for a quick and healthy meal. And since it’s typically made with fresh ingredients, you’re getting all the benefits of those nutrients without any of the unhealthy preservatives or additives found in processed foods.

Poke not only can be made with whole grains which help keep you satisfied, but fish which contains many omega 3’s. Other ingredients include green onion, rice wine vinegar, fresh fruit, fresh ginger, and toasted sesame seeds.

2. It’s versatile.

Poke is extremely versatile and can be customized to fit your unique tastes. Don’t like tuna? No problem! Swap it out for salmon or tofu. Prefer a sweeter marinade? Go ahead and add some fruit to the mix. The possibilities are endless!

3. It’s affordable.

Poke bowls are typically very affordable, especially when compared to other healthier options like salads or sushi. And since you can customize your bowl to include as much or as little as you want, you can control how much you spend without sacrificing taste or quality.

4. It’s delicious.

Last but not least, poke is just plain delicious! The combination of fresh seafood, flavorful marinades, and nutrient-rich rice makes for a truly satisfying meal. Plus, it’s super easy to eat on the go – no utensils required!

5. Hunger

One of the primary reasons that people crave poke is hunger. When the body is low on energy, it will send signals to the brain telling it to eat. These signals can be triggered by a variety of things, including a drop in blood sugar levels or an increase in the hormone ghrelin.

Chronic hunger can lead to overeating and weight gain, so it’s important to listen to your body’s cues and eat when you’re actually hungry.

6. Carbohydrates

Another reason that people may crave poke is because they are seeking out carbohydrates. After all poke has a bunch of rice and sauces.

Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient that the body uses for energy. When people consume carbohydrates, their blood sugar levels increase, which can lead to a feeling of euphoria.

7. Filling

Poke is also often craved because it is filling. The combination of protein and fat in poke can help to stave off hunger and keep people feeling full for longer periods of time.

8. Distraction

In many cases, people may crave poke as a way to distract themselves from other thoughts or emotions. Eating can be a form of self-soothing for some people, and it can help to take the focus off of negative thoughts or feelings.

9. Mood Booster

Finally, poke can also be craved because it can boost mood. Eating can release endorphins, which are hormones that have mood-boosting effects. Additionally, the act of eating can itself be pleasurable, which can help to improve one’s mood

Poke Bowl Recipe

What goes into a poke bowl?

Poke bowls traditionally consist of three main components – rice, fish, and vegetables. However, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to poke bowl ingredients. You can use whatever you like! Some popular options include:

  • Rice: White or brown rice, sushi rice, quinoa, etc.
  • Fish: Ahi tuna, salmon, shrimp, etc.
  • Vegetables: Cucumber, avocado, seaweed, carrots, radishes, etc.
  • Toppings: Sesame seeds, tobiko, furikake, green onions, etc.
  • Sauces: Spicy mayo, eel sauce, soy sauce, wasabi, etc.


1. Cook the rice according to package instructions.

2. In a bowl, combine the fish, vegetables, and toppings of your choice.

3. Drizzle with sauces and enjoy!

Are poke bowls healthy?

Poke bowls can be as healthy or unhealthy as you make them. If you’re looking for a healthy option, focus on filling your bowl with lots of vegetables and lean protein. You can also switch out the rice for quinoa or another grain. And if you want to make things even healthier, ditch the sauces altogether or opt for a lighter dressing like sesame oil, lime juice or lemon juice. On the other hand, if you’re in the mood for something a little more indulgent, feel free to load up on toppings like avocado, cheese, and crispy fried onions. The sky’s the limit!

No matter what ingredients you choose, one thing is for sure – poke bowls are delicious and CRAVE-worthy for most people.

What is poke bowl sauce made of?

Poke bowl sauce is typically made with a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and chili paste. However, there are many different variations out there. Some sauces are sweeter while others are spicier. It all comes down to personal preference!

If you’re looking for a specific recipe, we recommend checking out this Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl Sauce from Food Network.

How do you make a poke bowl?

Making a poke bowl is easy! Simply cook the rice (or grain of your choice), combine the fish and vegetables (raw or cooked), and top with your favorite sauces and toppings. That’s it!

What is poke sauce made of?

Kikkomans new poke sauce is based on its famous natural soy sauce, toasty sesame, lemon juice and some chillies to create the perfect blend.

Why is it called tuna poke?

“Poke” literally translates as “cutting crosswise in fragments”. Most historians also say the word is used only in the 1960s and 1970s when the dish was made. The use of poke was coincidental with the increasing availability of ahis (tuna).

Spicy Ahi Poke

One of the most popular poke bowls is the Spicy Ahi Poke. It is made with raw ahi tuna that is marinated in a spicy sauce and then served over rice with vegetables.

The ingredients you’ll need for this poke recipe are:

  • 1 pound sushi-grade ahi tuna or imitation crab meat
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chili paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


1. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili paste, garlic, salt, and pepper.

2. Cut the ahi tuna into small cubes and add it to the bowl.

3. Gently toss to coat.

4. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Just before serving, stir in the green onions and sesame seeds.

6. Serve over rice with vegetables of your choice. Enjoy!


If you’ve been craving poke lately, now you know why! Whether you’re looking for a healthy meal option, a budget-friendly lunch, or just something delicious to eat, poke has got you covered. So next time you’re feeling a craving come on, head to your nearest poke joint and enjoy!

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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