Part sushi, part comfort food–poke is a delicious, nutritious meal all rolled into one handy bowl.

Here's what you need to know about this Asian-inspired creation. First off, it's Hawaiian in its roots, and the word (pronounced po-kay) means "to cut crosswise into pieces" according to the Hawaii Ocean Project.

In its most basic form, poke is sliced fish marinated in a sauce and served with simple ingredients like salt and seaweed. It has evolved over the years to become a free-for-all of colorful components that we've come to know and love like edamame, fresh veggies, fried lotus chips, and a myriad of other flavors. You can pretty much find poke all around the world now.

poke bowls
Courtesy of Sarina Petrocelly

One of the best things about poke is that it's generally customized to your taste since it is freshly prepared and assembled. Not that adventurous? Try a base of cooked shrimp or scallops with rice or salad and go from there. Stick to the milder sauces like shoyu, made with soy sauce and sesame oil, until you're feeling a bit braver. Spicy mayo is always a good addition for an extra kick. Classic Hawaiian poke is made with tuna and locally sourced reef fish, but due to its recent rise in mainstream markets, you tend to see salmon on the menu as well.

Innovative restaurants have taken poke to the next level by creating hearty poke rolls or sushi burritos, encased in whole sheets of nori. Just imagine the convenience of a bowl without the need for a fork or chopsticks.

sushi roll
Courtesy of Motomaki (Facebook)

The next time you're looking for something healthy and filling, check out your local poke place. Don't have one near you? Ask your favorite sushi spot if they'll make a poke bowl. It may just not be on their menu yet!

Is poke one of your favorite foods? What are some of your favorite toppings or combinations? Let us know in the comments