Getting saucy with poke seasonings

A La Carte Columns

May 21, 2017

Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: POKE & BOX

Small PokeBox ($7.99) with ahi, avocado and more.

At Poke & Box, Ala Moana Center’s little food court gem, the sauce is the delicious secret.

Specifically, it’s the Poke-BoxSauce™ — that’s the trademarked moniker given to the delectable house-made condiments here. Eight sauces are offered, each created to satisfy a variety of cultural appetites for raw or cooked fish on a bed of rice.

And they’re all created in-house: three spicy sauces with increasing levels of heat, a savory Korean gochujang paste, an “unmistakably Japanese” wasabi mustard, a traditional shoyu, and a creamy sesame condiment that would delight even the most sensitive palates.

Medium PokeBox ($9.99) with ahi poke, tempura flakes and lots of veggies.

Then there’s Aja Spicy Shoyu. “That’s my favorite! It’s like a spicy soy sauce,” says Lauren Yoo, who owns both Poke & Box and Aja Sushi & Bento, its sister eatery at Ala Moana. “Our regular customers at Aja said our spicy soy was really good with the Korean sushi we offer there. So we call it Aja Sauce!”

The sauces are superb complements for the ingredients in each customizable PokeBox. Available in small ($7.99), medium ($9.99) and large ($14.99) sizes, the boxes start with your choice of white or brown rice, or salad. Then, you can add PokeBox-Base™ options like avocado, green and sliced onions, kamaboko and cucumber.

Protein options — here called PokeBoxMix™ — include market-fresh cubes of raw ahi from this morning’s auction at Pier 38, as well as tender shrimp, seasoned scallops, chewy tako (octopus) and fresh salmon, for a taste of the Pacific Northwest. Chicken and fried tofu also are available.

PokeBoxTops™ include a variety of fresh, seasoned, and fermented options, like pickled ginger, kimchee, pine nuts, taro chips, edamame, furikake, jalapeños and pineapple.

All in all, Poke & Box offers healthy and delicious meals custom-made to order in minutes with fresh, quality ingredients — and don’t forget about the sauce!

Poke & Box

Ala Moana Center, Makai Market Food Court,
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Ste. 1081, Honolulu
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96814

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Hawaii's Best