Give Your Poke Bowl A Boost Of Freshness With Watermelon Radishes

raw tuna chunks with vegetables
raw tuna chunks with vegetables - Cindy Chou/Mashed

Poke bowls, which have the look and feel of deconstructed sushi, have long been popular in Hawaii. In recent years they've become pretty trendy on the mainland, as well. This food truck favorite might not seem like something you could or should make at home, but recipe developer Cindy Chou says it is actually safe to cook (or "cook") with raw fish as long as the fish is labeled as sushi or sashimi-grade. She does add one caveat, however, telling us, "Since the guidelines vary state by state and the term isn't regulated, it's good to purchase fish from trustworthy fish markets and Japanese markets."

There's more to poke bowls than fish, however, since you're also going to need some rice (short grain, as this is preferred for sushi as well) along with a couple of vegetable garnishes. Chou garnishes her poke bowls with yellow and green onions, garlic, ribbon-cut cucumbers, and watermelon radishes. Chou does say, "The best part of making your own poke bowl is you can customize it to your preferences or what you're in the mood for," which means you can change up the garnishes as you please. If you can find watermelon radishes, though, they're well worth using because their pretty pink color matches that of the raw tuna.

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Watermelon Radishes Are A Surprisingly Versatile Vegetable

hand chopping watermelon radish
hand chopping watermelon radish - Cindy Chou/Mashed

Watermelon radishes may not be something you can find in every grocery store, in which case you can simply substitute daikon radishes of another hue (watermelon radishes are a daikon radish variety). You can also use red radishes, although one of the differences between watermelon radishes and regular radishes is that the former are somewhat milder in flavor. They also tend to be bigger, plus there's a color difference, of course. Watermelon radishes, as we touched on earlier, are bright pink inside, which is how they get their name. (The flavor isn't remotely watermelon-like, nor do they have seeds you can spit.)

Assuming you've been able to get hold of a bag of watermelon radishes, what can you do with the ones you don't need for Chou's poke bowl recipe? While this vegetable's rosy hue makes it a popular garnish for salads, avocado toast, and tacos as well as poke bowls, it can also be used as a stand-alone side. Try boiling and mashing the radishes, roasting them in the oven like potatoes, or shredding them to make a bright pink slaw. You can also slice them thinly and arrange them atop buttered bread to make open-faced radish sandwiches for a tea party. Sure, your dolls and teddy bears may not eat them, but that will leave more for you.

Read the original article on Mashed.