music in the park san jose

.Building a Balanced Bowl at Fish Me Poke

music in the park san jose

Fish Me Poke in Eastside San Jose stuffs quesadillas with bulgogi beef and adorns sushi burritos in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos dust. The experimental menu draws inspiration from Korean, Mexican, Hawaiian and Japanese cuisine.

Much like the rest of the dishes, the poke is far from traditional. Hawaiian poke is a simple dish of raw fish tossed in sauce and sometimes topped with onions and limu. The poke here is built to order with a collection of raw fish, tropical fruit and crispy toppings. This is a style of poke typically found outside of Hawai’i, but what sets Fish Me Poke apart is the quality of the ingredients and sauces.

Near the front door, there’s a table with forms and pens where customers check boxes to design their order. The menu features five bases, 12 proteins, 11 sauces and over a dozen toppings. The amount of options may seem daunting, but anybody with decision paralysis can order bowls with preselected ingredients.

As patrons wait, they can admire the wall-sized mural of a man on a boat sailing toward a wave as yellowfin tuna breach the water. Or if they prefer, they can try their luck with the claw machine in the corner.

Constructing a cohesive bowl is part of what makes this style of poke so fun. The ideal bowl strikes a balance between acidity and sweetness, crunchiness and creaminess, neutral flavors and savory notes.

Each bowl begins with a required base: sushi rice, brown rice, mixed greens, wonton chips or soba noodles. (While I love wonton chips, I would recommend waiting to add them as an extra base on top to prevent them from getting soggy.)

Next, customers can choose between raw or cooked proteins. Raw fish options include salmon, tuna, and hamachi. There are also spicy variations of the salmon and tuna that are minced to a smooth paste. The cooked options include crab mayo, tofu, shrimp tempura, chicken breast, shrimp and marinated boiled eggs (ajitsuke tamago). Regular bowls include three proteins; large bowls include four.

The next set of options are sauces and toppings. While each bowl is allocated three sauces, only two sauces are used to coat the fish. The third is drizzled on at the end. The spicy ponzu is Fish Me Poke’s most acidic sauce, and it adds a necessary brightness to the rich ingredients. To balance the acidity, try pairing it with creamy miso sesame or the house special, made with Korean chili and honey. To add some heat, go with the mango habanero mayo.

The toppings can be split into four sections: fruity, crispy, savory and pungent. Pick one topping from each section to create a well-rounded bowl. To add crispiness, go for the fried garlic or wonton chips. For fruitiness, add pineapple or mango bits. For savoriness, try onion, masago or seaweed flakes. For pops of firm texture, opt for edamame or corn.

Fish Me Poke, open daily 11am–8:15pm, 3005 Silver Creek Rd #186, San Jose. Orders also taken online for pickup and delivery.


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