When we visited family this past February, we stopped in Hawaii on our way back to Japan. It was surprisingly economical to make the extra pit stop and having never been to Hawaii before, was well worth the trip.
I’ve always thought of Hawaii as a cool tropical place that I’d like to visit. However, I’ve lived on a tropical island (Okinawa, Japan) for the past few years that is supposedly Hawaii-esque. It made me underestimate how amazing Hawaii is. Home back in Okinawa, I dream that our weather could be perfect everyday like it is in Hawaii and that our beaches are coral-free, powder that never makes you stop to think “ouch”.
Hawaii is amazing because of the Hawaiian culture as well. It actually seems a bit odd that it is part of the United States because it’s so far away and because the people there very much have their own history and way of life. The laid back island culture pervades everything. People are smiling, playing in the sand; I got told to “hang loose” more times than I can count. The hula lesson I took (crashed really) captivated me. I had no idea that hula was such an art used for story telling. An older man danced for us and he displayed such pure joy in his hula that it really made me respect its part of the Hawaiian heritage.
Then of course, the food. Fish. Pineapple. Coconut. Other exotic tropical fruits I’ve never heard of like rambutans. Our first night we sat down at the lounge at our hotel and tried the tuna poke, a traditional Hawaiian food. It was delicious. Savory, salty, spicy. Like sashimi in Japan but jazzed up like whoa. So I came up with these salmon poke sushi bowls, my take on Pacific cuisine. I hope you will like it as much as I do.
- 20 ounces sashimi grade salmon, skin removed and cut into bite size pieces
- ½ cup finely chopped green onion
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped macadamia nuts
- 1 Tablespoon ginger, skin removed and finely chopped
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons sake
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ Tablespoon honey
- 2 cups Japanese short grain rice
- 2 cups water
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- squeeze fresh lemon juice
- Salmon roe
- Chopped avocado
- Finely chopped seaweed
- Finely chopped macadamia nuts
- Sesame seeds
- In a medium bowl, combine salmon, green onion, and macadamia nuts.
- In another small bowl, add ginger, soy sauce, sake, sesame oil, rice vinegar, cayenne pepper and honey. Stir to combine.
- Pour liquid mixture into salmon and mix well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the sushi rice. I choose to cook mine in a rice cooker but cook 2 cups Japanese short grain rice your preferred method. After rice is finished cooking but is still warm, combine with rice vinegar, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Stir to evenly coat.
- Serve sushi rice with poke, top with salmon roe, avocado, finely chopped seaweed, macadamia nuts, and sesame seeds.