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The Easy Way to Make Lomi Salmon

Easy way to make lomi salmon.

Lomi salmon.

Is There An Easy Way to Make Lomi Salmon?

This is mostly for Hawaii expats or people who like Hawaiian food and don’t live in Hawaii. But it can also be for current Hawaii residents too. We’ll answer this question: is there an easy way to make lomi salmon? The answer is an unequivocal yes. Will it taste as good as if someone made it in Hawaii?  Please see below for the answers.

For those that don’t know, lomi salmon has been a key dish in Hawaiian food. It’s essentially a tasty marinade of salted salmon, onions, tomatoes and spices. Lomi salmon is basically the Hawaii equivalent of ceviche. And if not for the salmon, it would almost taste like a salsa. Whether you go to a luau or sample Hawaiian food at a restaurant, you will almost always find lomi salmon. As they say in Hawaii, lomi salmon is “ono” (i.e., tastes good). It can also “broke your mouth” (i.e., it’s overwhelmingly delicious).

Some may wonder how lomi salmon has become an essential element of traditional Hawaiian cuisine. It’s an interesting story in and of itself. For starters, you can’t catch salmon in Hawaiian waters. Salmon is a cold water fish and the ocean in Hawaii isn’t that cold. And the ancient Hawaiians never had tomatoes and onions too. If you’re interested in the story of how lomi salmon became a Hawaiian food dish, click here.

Getting back to the point, do you have to travel to Hawaii to enjoy this tasty and uniquely Hawaiian dish? Can you make this on the mainland and have it still taste as good? Fortunately, the answers to these questions are:  no, yes and yes.

The Ingredients and Recipe

This is a recipe I actually concocted myself. Don’t laugh until you tried it. Here are the ingredients:

Small package of smoke salmon.

One firm tomato.

Quarter of a sweet round onion.

Green onions.

Regular table salt.

Ten to twelve raw small red chili beans.

Two cups water.

Sea salt.

Chili Pepper Water

First, we have to make what is known in Hawaii as chili pepper water. Boil the chili beans in two cup of water along with a pinch of sea salt for at least 30 minutes. Place the solution along with the beans in a bottle then let it cool overnight. Then shake it thoroughly and taste it to see if it needs more sea salt. If it does, add some judiciously. You can also now use this chili pepper water for the same things you might use Tobasco sauce for.

Lomi Salmon

Nicely dice the salmon, tomatoes and onion. After dicing them, place them all into a large bowl and mix the ingredients together with a spoon. Sprinkle in some sliced green onions for color. Shake or stir the chili pepper water. Then carefully add spoonfuls of the chili pepper water you had made the night before to suit your taste. Carefully add regular salt (not sea salt) to the ingredients to suit your taste. Be very careful about adding the regular salt because the salmon and chili pepper water already have salt in them. Cover your bowl with a plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

So that’s the easy way to make lomi salmon. And now, you’re ready to enjoy your delicious homemade lomi salmon without having to travel to Hawaii. But we have admit, it’s still much better if you can treat yourself to good Hawaiian food, or any kind of food for that matter, if you’re actually in Hawaii.

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