In this nutritious and tasty lomi-lomi salad recipe, I am taking a Hawaiian classic and turning it into a paleo-licious meal full of healthy fats and antioxidants.
Jumping on last year’s trend of Hawaiian tuna dish called poke, I want to introduce you to another pacific gem called lomi-lomi salmon. It’s a side dish (sort of like a salad) made with lightly cured salmon, fresh tomatoes and onions, dressed with zesty lime dressing. Similarly to poke, this recipe uses raw fish and is full of healthy fats and nutrients.
In my paleo version, I am curing the salmon with coconut sugar instead regular white stuff, and I am adding velvety avocado and crunchy peppers to turn this into a lovely, satiating salad. You can serve it as is, or with a side of simple cooked white or sweet potatoes for extra carbs. I’ve provided the instructions for the white potato side in the notes below, as I think it goes wonderfully well with the salty, zesty lomi-lomi salad.
Oh, and what does lomi-lomi mean, you might wonder? It means ‘to massage, to kneed, to work in and out’ and in this case refers to the salmon being massaged and mixed in with other ingredients by hand.
Below are the step-by-step pictures to help you along but all you really need to know is that it’s important to get really fresh salmon. This salad is all about the ingredients you use and the better and fresher the fish, the tastier the final dish will be.
Coconut sugar is a great, low glycemic index sweetener and honestly, it worked really well in the salt rub. You can purchase it online and in most health food stores. If not available, you can user regular brown sugar. It’s only used to infuse a little sweetness into the fish and you won’t actually be eating all that sugar itself. If you’re avoiding all sweeteners, you can also cure the salmon with just salt and coriander. Oh, and if you hate coriander, feel free to replace with sweet basil or parsley.
I love serving this salad with a side of boiled white potatoes flavoured only with butter, salt and pepper. Ghee or olive oil can be used for a dairy-free version. Simply cook diced white or sweet potato in water until soft (about 10-15 minuets), strain and then season with salt and add a generous dollop of butter or other healthy oil/fat. Yes, white potato is widely accepted in the paleo diet and Whole30, but avoid if healing an autoimmune condition, or trying to reduce carbs/regular blood sugar. Replace with other starchy veggies or extra greens.
Another fun way to use this recipe is to make it for a party. You can then serve it on a large platter or in small bowls/shot glasses/lettuce cups, so your guests can enjoy it as finger food. Oh, and this gorgeous plate is by Made Of Australia.
For the salmon
- 300 –350 g / 0.7 lb salmon fillets (skinless, otherwise remove the skin with a sharp knife)
- 6 tablespoons sea salt
- 4 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander/cilantro (or basil)
For the salad
- 2 medium tomatoes, quartered, seeds removed and diced into small cubes
- 1/2 large red pepper/capsicum, diced into small cubes
- 2 spring onions, finely diced (green and white parts)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander/cilantro (or more if you like)
- 1/2 large avocado, diced
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes or chilli powder (finely chopped fresh chilli can also be used)
- A teaspoon or two of black or white sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Wash and pat dry the salmon fillets with paper towel. Remove skin, if present.
- Place a piece of parchment or clingfilm on a plate. Mix the salt, coconut sugar, and chopped coriander in a bowl and spread half of it in the middle of the paper. Place the salmon fillets on top and cover with the reset of the salt rub mixture. Press the rub down into the fish with your fingers, making sure the fillets are evenly covered. Wrap the fish into a parcel and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
- After the curing time, remove the salmon from the fridge and unwrap from the paper. Rinse the curing rub/marinade (it would have liquified by now) under cold water really well. Place the salmon fillets on a chopping board and dice into small cubes.
- Prepare the salad ingredients and add to a mixing bowl. Add the diced, cured salmon. Drizzle with lime juice, sesame oil, coconut aminos (if using) and olive oil, and sprinkle with a little chilli. Mix through really well and serve in a big bowl or on plates, sprinkled with some sesame seeds and extra coriander.
- If serving with potatoes, prepare those ahead of time.
Curing time of 12-24 hours required for this recipe
Follow me on Instagram and show what Eat Drink Paleo recipes you’re making in your kitchen. Tag @eatdrinkpaleo or use hashtag #eatdrinkpaleo.