Lomi Lomi Salmon
Lomi Lomi Salmon (No-Cook) Recipe – This delicious chilled Hawaiian salad is made with salted salmon, tomatoes, and onions. It’s fabulously refreshing and so easy to prepare!
Why We Love This Hawaiian Recipe
When it’s too hot to cook (or, really, I just don’t feel like it) a hearty and refreshing salad is my go-to dinner plan. And nothing is better than a totally no-cook dish that can be prepared with basically zero effort!
Lomi Lomi Salmon is a simple Hawaiian dish, almost like a ceviche or raw salmon salad or salsa, that is a traditional part of classic Hawaiian meals. It’s similar to a salmon poke, but is its own dish with very different seasoning.
While traditional poke is made with hoisin sauce and sesame oil, here we use salted salmon* mixed together with a simple combination of tomatoes, white onion, and green onions. The flavor is more salty, savory, and bursting with a delicious crunchy zing from the onions.
This classic Lomi recipe is terrific to make for a summertime salad, side, or light main dish!
*Salted Salmon is salmon that is rubbed with salt and cured for several days to absorb the salt and tighten the texture of the salmon. Since most cooks don’t want to dry-brine salmon for 2-3 days before using it in a recipe, we are offering a simple quickie “salted salmon” method for this recipe below.
Why It Is Called Lomi Salmon
Lomi refers to a type of gentle Hawaiian massage, so people often believe this dish is named after rubbing the salmon with salt or massaging the ingredients together.
Ingredients You Need
- Salmon – fresh wild-caught or salted salmon (see steps below for how to make salted salmon)
- Fresh tomatoes – chopped and seeded
- Sweet onion – chopped
- Green onion – chopped
- Kosher salt – omit if using salted salmon
- Lime juice – for a bit of acid
- Crushed red pepper – gives the salmon a nice bit of heat
- Sesame oil – for a more rich and luscious salad
- Jalapeno – adds a real kick of spicy flavor
What is salted salmon?
Pre-salted salmon is an ingredient you can find at grocery stores in some parts of the country, but not all. It is a method of dry brining (AKA curing) the salmon to make it salty and give it a dense firm texture before using it in other recipes.
How to Make Salted Salmon (Quick-Method)
Omit this step if you buy Salted Salmon.
First, remove the skin from the salmon fillets. Then dice the salmon into ½ inch chunks.
Set out a large bowl or container. Place 1 ½ cups of cold water in the bowl followed by ¼ cup of kosher salt. Stir the salt into the cold water until it is fully dissolved, about 2 minutes. It’s ok if there’s still a little salt at the bottom. You just don’t want the water to be cloudy.
Mix the chopped salmon cubes into the salted water. Allow them to soak for 5 minutes.
Pro Tip: The salted salmon will flavor the tomatoes and onions. Do not rinse it. If curing it yourself, make sure to only leave the small chunks in the brine for 5 minutes, or they will be too salty.
What is the (Slow) Traditional Method of Making Salted Salmon?
If you want to make Salted Salmon the traditional way, remove the skin from the salmon, leaving the fillets whole. Place the salmon fillets in an air-tight container.
Pour ample Hawaiian salt over the top of the fillets. Toss to coat the salmon in the salt. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 days. Every 12 hours, check the salmon and reapply a new layer of salt, before placing it back in the refrigerator. (Do not add water in this method.)
When ready to use, brush the salt off the salmon and dice the fillets.
Get the Complete (Printable) Lomi Lomi Salmon Salad Recipe Below. Enjoy!
How You Make Lomi Lomi
When ready to prepare the salmon salad, scoop the pieces out of the salted water and place them in a colander to drain. Again, do not rinse. You can do this ahead of time, to further cure the salmon and create a firmer texture, but it is not necessary.
While the salmon is draining, chop the tomatoes, and both types of onion.
Note: If you buy pre-salted salmon, simply chop it and toss it with the tomatoes and onions.
Wash and dry the large bowl. Then place the salted salmon, tomatoes, sweet onions, and green onions in the bowl. Also add any other extra goodies you like, such as diced jalapenos, lime juice, crushed red pepper, or sesame oil.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Lomi Salmon is best enjoyed cold, and is usually served as fresh a side dish along with Kalua pork, poi, laulau, macaroni salad, and fruit.
Make it as healthy main dish protein and serve on a green salad or steamed rice.
Or serve it like salsa with plantain chips as a tasty appetizer or snack!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is lomi lomi salmon raw?
Yes, this classic Lomi recipe is made entirely with raw ingredients. However, the salmon is salted and therefore cured… So it is preserved but not actually cooked.
Can you make Hawaiian lomi salad with canned or smoked salmon?
It won’t technically be lomi since these can’t be brined the same way as raw salmon. But yes, you can make the dish with drained and flaked canned fish or diced smoked salmon. Just note that the flavors will be quite different from the original recipe.
Can this recipe be made ahead?
Yes, lomi salmon salad is great to make ahead! Prepare and chill it several hours or up to a full day in advance of when you plan to serve.
How long does lomi salmon last?
Keep the salad in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze lomi lomi salmon?
Absolutely! Transfer the salad to a freezer-safe zipper bag, and seal shut with all of the air removed. Keep in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or run the bag under cool water to defrost more quickly.
Looking for More Easy No-Cook Summer Recipes?
- Hawaiian Ahi Poke Recipe
- Best Tuna Tartare
- Bahamian Conch Salad
- Hawaiian Tako Poke
- Ultimate Steak Tartare Recipe
Lomi Lomi Salmon Recipe
Lomi Salmon Salad Ingredients –
- 1 ½ pounds salted salmon or fresh wild caught salmon
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes chopped and seeded
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion use Maui onion if available
- 1 cup chopped green onion
- ¼ cup kosher salt only if you can’t find salted salmon
- How to Make Salted Salmon: (Omit this step if you are able to buy Salted Salmon at the market.) Remove the skin from the salmon fillets. Then dice the salmon into ½ inch chunks. Set out a large bowl or container. Place 1 ½ cups of cold water in the bowl followed by ¼ cup of kosher salt. Stir the salt into the cold water until it is fully dissolved, about 2 minutes. It’s ok if there’s still a little salt at the bottom. You just don’t want the water to be cloudy.
- Mix the chopped salmon cubes into the salted water. Allow them to soak for 5 minutes. Then scoop them out of the salted water and place them in a colander to drain. Do not rinse. You can do this ahead of time, to further cure the salmon and create a firmer texture, but it is not necessary.
- While the salmon is draining, chop the tomatoes, and both types of onion.
- Wash and dry the large bowl. Then mix the salted salmon, tomatoes, sweet onions, and green onions together in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Then toss and serve.