Okinawa Tourism Information:Hawaii’spopularlocalfood,PokiDon,hereinOkinawa♪FishShopTsunainKitanakagusuku

Hawaii’s popular local food, Poki Don, here in Okinawa♪
Fish Shop Tsuna in Kitanakagusuku

post : 2023.03.31 23:00

There’s something that’s captivated me lately…And that’s Poki (or Poke) Don, Hawaii’s soul food.

What is Hawaii’s popular Poki Don?

In the Hawaiian language, Poki means to cut into small pieces. The Poki Don has pieces of tuna, salmon, octopus, and other kinds of seafood that are seasoned and topped on rice. So it’s like the Hawaiian version of seafood donburi.

Just like how we have countless Soba shops in Okinawa, Hawaii has Poki specialty shops everywhere, and they’re even available at the deli corner in supermarkets.

With Okinawan Tuna! Poki Don made by a fisherman.

Fish Shop Tsuna, a Poki Don specialty shop, opened in Kitanakagusuku Village in January 2021. The owner of the shop is Yasutsuna Tanaka, a local fisherman. At Fish Shop Tsuna, Tanaka-san offers Poki Don with the tuna that he catches.

Before becoming a fisherman, Tanaka-san worked as a physical therapist at hospitals and daycare facilities for the elderly. He says, “My father was a fisherman so I would help him out since I was a kid. I didn’t have plans to become a fisherman at that time, but on the day after my national examination to be a physical therapist, I went and got my boat operating license, too (laugh). I worked as a physical therapist for about five years, going fishing on the weekends. But I eventually left my job and became an independent fisherman.”

The warm waters surrounding Okinawa offer tuna all year round. For Poki Don, it’s better to use the redder parts of the tuna where it’s less fatty, so at Tsuna, you’ll find that they mainly use bigeye tuna and yellowfin tuna in their dishes.

Authentic tastes, here in Okinawa.

They offer seven varieties of tastes; soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, spicy, Hawaiian salt, cold ginger, spicy salmon, and local octopus with Hawaiian salt.

Poki is a local Hawaiian dish that’s been popular for many years but continues to evolve. Every year, Tanaka-san visits Hawaii to keep up with all things Poki, from the unchanging and popular type of Poki to the newest trends. He then brings back what he learned to brush it up and update his creations.

One of the most popular flavors in Hawaii is the Spicy type. It is made with a mayonnaise base and has a nice kick. Although it has a mild taste, the spices stimulate the palate and you’ll find yourself digging in further and further!


Cold ginger has a chopped ginger and green onion-based flavor and is Tanaka-san’s most recommended choice. The cold ginger, with a punch of aroma from the ginger and green onions, is a new addition to the Tsuna menu, inspired by the popular menu at Off the Rock on Oahu Island.

The Poki Don comes in regular and large sizes, and you can customize your bowl with various toppings (at additional cost), like avocado, cucumbers, edamame, crab sticks, Umibudo sea grapes, tobiko roe, jalapeno, fried onions, and others. 

Swing by Fish Shop Tsuna for an authentic Poki Don, created by Tanaka-san who continues to visit Hawaii to offer the wonderful tastes here in Okinawa.


Fish Shop Tsuna
Address: 236-1 Kishaba, Kitanakagusuku, Okinawa
Hours: 11:00 to 15:30 (Last Order at 15:00)
Closed: Tuesdays

Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Sachiko Tachi