Thanks to the the resurgent Pokémon fanaticism spurred by Pokémon Go, there’s no shortage of Poké-inspired food floating around the Internet right now. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen an app have this much of a mass cultural impact since Tinder hit the app store. That said, even though I personally don’t totally understand the fixation, I can see how it’s not completely useless… and it’s not like an obvious glowing iPhone beacon heralding in the decline of civilization (that’s more up Tinder’s alley). I mean, we’ve already witnessed how obsessively hunting Pokémon can positively effect kids’ (as well as Pokémon-hunting adults’ and adults’ chasing kids chasing Pokémon) physical activity levels. Plus, the craze has been a fun and lucrative tool for numerous companies to boost business. And frankly, these Poké-nom foods are pretty freaking cool.
And as the MyRecipes staff has sat around and discussed how top and trending things impact the food world and how we eat–as we tend to do–it’s come up again and again that this Poké-nomenon is also helping parents out in getting their kids to eat stuff they wouldn’t normally go for. Thus, the idea for this Pokéball Poke Bowl started to form. This recipe is the type of thing that our crew of both Pokémon obsessed and totally Pokémon clueless (hi, that’s me) get’s excited for because: A.) the title exhibits a witty play on words B.) it’s a seamless mash-up of two highly trendy subject matter C.) it can be a fun way for wee ones to broaden their eating horizons.
Let’s step away from Pokémon for a sec to talk about poke. Poke is a traditional, and super casual, Hawaiian dish that consists of chopped raw fish (usually ahi tuna) that’s marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, then sprinkled with sesame seeds and scallions. The raw fish salad is often served over rice with other accouterments like sliced avocado, cucumber, and nori. While poke has become wildly hot on the mainland culinary seen over the past few years, it doesn’t exactly seem like a meal your 9-year-old is going to be chomping at the bit for–right? Well, when you can dress it up as a Pokéball and sell it as the “ultimate” fuel for Pokémon hunting… you might be surprised how easy it is to have your kid make a major leap up from frozen fish sticks. Or hey, at the very least–they might give something new a try. It never hurts to make food–especially new foods–fun for young and adventurous palates to experience. To learn how to make this simple Poké-inspired Poke at home, check out the video below (watch it through the end–trust me, that’s the best part) and get the recipe here.
And if you think it may create a stronger appeal, you could even tell you kid that rather than raw fish, the ahi tuna is actually a raw Jigglypuff. Unless that’s totally and completely twisted and not kid-appropriate… I don’t have children, but someone in the test kitchen said that to me when I showed them the Pokéball Poke Bowl and I thought it was funny. I guess you can just use your best discretion on that.
You can use a different fish, such as salmon, in place of the ahi tuna in this recipe, but the important thing is that you only use incredibly fresh, sushi-grade fish. For poke (or sushi), always purchase fish from a trusted source and never hesitate to ask the fishmonger questions about what you’re buying.