You need only 4 ingredients and 10 minutes of your precious time to prepare Lomi Lomi Salmon - a classic Hawaiian side dish, which can be also served as a standalone salad. Light, refreshing, and full of flavor!
Many people call this place a true paradise on Earth. It is the birthplace of surfing and continues to be a surfing mecca for the world because of the killer waves. Beautiful girls dancing the hula in the moonlight, warm and friendly people living the aloha spirit, amazing beaches, mind-blowing sunsets, I could go on and on. What is this place? Of course it's Hawaii, duh! I have never been there but saw enough movies to fall in love with this gorgeous island. Today I made a classic Hawaiian dish - Lomi Lomi Salmon. Love this name? Me too! Wait till I tell you that it's not just a collection of words, it has a meaning and a very interesting one.
Lomi Lomi means "to knead, to rub, or soothe" in Hawaiian. Nowadays this word is used to describe the Hawaiian massage. Can't see a connection with our dish? Well, you are supposed to "massage" all the ingredients by mixing and breaking them up with your bare hands. Isn't it fun? Lomi Lomi Salmon is made with just 4 ingredients: raw salted salmon, tomatoes, white onion (can be substituted with any sweet onion) and green onions. If you can't find salted salmon, I've added instructions in the recipe below on how you can easily cure it at home.
The most interesting thing is that salmon doesn't live anywhere near Hawaii! How come it is so popular there and is considered a Hawaiian ethnic food? Salmon was first introduced to the island about 150 years ago by Western explorers. Obviously, the salmon they brought with them had to be cured. That explains the popularity of it in this sunshine state!
Today it's impossible to imagine Hawaiian parties and gatherings (luaus) without Lomi Lomi salmon. It is traditionally served as a side dish alongside kalua pork, but it is also great with roast meats. I have personally enjoyed it as a standalone salad too. If you want a nice presentation, serve the salad on lettuce leaves. Enjoy!
Lomi Lomi Salmon Recipe - Just 4 ingredients!
- ½ lb (225g) salted salmon
- 2 large or 3 medium tomatoes, seeded, diced
- ½ white onion (or any other sweet onion), chopped
- ¼ cup green onion, chopped
- 1 cup crushed ice
- Lettuce leaves for serving (optional)
- Remove bones and skin from the salmon. In a medium bowl, flake the fish into small pieces by hand. You can chop it roughly before doing that. Add tomatoes and white onion. Mix everything together with your hands. Chill covered for few hours and add the crushed ice and green onion just before serving. Mix thoroughly and enjoy!
Hmmm raw salmon ? I do not know if I am adventurous enough to try this although the name and the look makes it very tempting to try. May be I can try it with smoked salmon instead. What do you think?
Amira, it's not raw anymore if it's salted 🙂 Salt kills bacteria! But you can easily use smoked salmon instead 🙂
Well, its not 'raw' per say, it is cured. This does denature the proteins a bit to firm it up, but it is technically still raw. Salting the salmon and letting it sit for at least 24 hrs is similar to making Gravlox, which this dish is similar to. You have to be careful though, you still want to buy FRESH not FROZEN salmon for this, and really use the best quality fish you can find, because even with curing, some bacteria can still sneak its way through and you want to limit how much there is in the first place.
If you're going to use smoked salmon (which, to be honest is just as 'raw' as the salt cured salmon in this recipe), look for Gravlax, not smoked salmon. You don't really want the 'smoke' flavor, for traditional Lomi Lomi, you just want that salted cured salmon flavor.
Thanks for your intake, Daniel!
Ahu @ Ahu Eats
This looks incredible! I love your blog - new fan here 🙂
I am glad you loved it, Ahu. Thanks! 🙂