Recipe: Jon’s Ono Lomilomi Salmon

My favorite Hawaiian side dish is lomilomi salmon; when I visit my parents, my mom always makes it for me. It’s essentially a fresh tomato and salmon salad, and after years of asking for my mother’s recipe (and promptly forgetting to write it down), I finally went ahead and pieced it all together myself.

Servings: ~8 cups


  • 1 lb. fresh salmon (easiest is 2 half-pound fillets)
  • 2 parts salt (easiest is 26 oz. can Morton salt, not iodized)
  • 1 part white sugar (half-can of Morton, see below)
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 5-6 stalks green onion, diced


Preparing the salt salmon, part one

First we need to cure the raw salmon in a salt-sugar mix for at least two or three days. You’re basically going to bury the salmon fillets in two parts salt, one part sugar, put them in your fridge, and let the salt suck all of the moisture out of them.

  1. Mix the salt and sugar in a large bowl. The ratio doesn’t have to be exact: for quick and easy measuring, cut off the top of the Morton can, empty it into the bowl, then fill the can halfway with sugar and empty that in with the salt.
  2. Next you’ll need a coverable container to cure the salmon in. I used a large rectangular tupperware container, but a 9×13 glass dish with saran wrap will do. Pour down a half inch layer of the salt-sugar at the bottom of the container.
  3. Now you need to stack your fillets inside, alternating with at least a half inch of the salt-sugar between each fillet. Also make sure that the fillets face like-sides, ie. skin to skin, and flesh to flesh.
  4. Cover the top with the remaining salt-sugar, then seal the container and put it into your fridge for at least three days.

Preparing the salt salmon, part two

After you’ve let the salmon cure for a few days, you’re going to need to rehydrate it before you can use it.

  1. Take the container out of the fridge and dig out the salt salmon. The salt-sugar should be like mush, and the salmon a little stiff.
  2. Fill a large bowl with cold water, and set the fillets inside to soak.
  3. In twenty minutes or so check the fillets. Cut off a tiny corner and taste it: if it’s still super salty, change the water in the bowl and let it soak again.
  4. When the fillets aren’t too salty anymore, take them out of water, remove the skin and dice into quarter inch chunks.
  5. Set the salmon chunks aside.

Preparing the vegetables

  1. Dice the sweet onions and set aside.
  2. Dice the green onions and set aside.
  3. Dice the tomatoes, and set aside.

Lomilomi time

It’s time to mix everything together. Now, the dish is called lomilomi salmon because lomilomi is Hawaiian for massage, and it’s traditional to mix everything together with your hands.

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Pour the chopped vegetables and salmon chunks into a large glass bowl or tupperware container.
  3. Dig in with your hands, and mix everything throughly.
  4. Finally, throw in a couple of ice cubes, cover the container, and put it back into your fridge.

Finishing touches

Now it’s time to let your lomilomi salmon set. By the time the ice cubes have melted, it should be ready to check. Take it out of the fridge and give it a good mix. If it tastes too sharp or the vegetables are still too crispy, try adding a small amount of plain tomato juice (not V8!), mix it up, and put it back into the fridge to set a while longer. Otherwise, serve and enjoy! It’s best served cold, especially alongside fresh steamed rice.

Remember, it is a salad dish, and does contain fish, so it won’t last more than a couple of days. Don’t leave it out longer than you have to: keep it in the fridge in a sealed container.

Eight cups serves about 16 haoles, 8 hapa-haoles, 4 Hawaiians, or 2 homesick Hawaiians. 🙂

Like it? Love it? Say so in the comments!


Updated 12/25/16 to fix the ratio of ingredients and serving sizes.

Recipe: Jon’s Ono Spam and Egg Fried Rice

I love making fried rice, and my family seems to love how I make it, so I finally decided to write down the recipe.

Rice Prep: 40 min.
Meat/Vegetable Prep: 20 min.
Servings: 3-4


  • ~3 scoops white Calrose rice
  • ~3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas & carrots
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1/8 of a yellow onion, diced
  • 4 green onion stalks, diced
  • 1 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1/2 can Spam, diced
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 3 eggs, beat


Preparing the rice

First of all, fried rice is traditionally made with day-old rice. Ideally, you’d want to make the rice a day in advance and let it set and dry out a bit. If you can’t make the rice the day before, try to make it as early as possible, and leave it out on a counter to dry out until you’re ready.

  1. Rinse the rice with water until it’s clear.
  2. Cook the rice using the chicken stock instead of water. I use a rice cooker, so I don’t know the exact proportions using a normal pot. Normally you want the water/stock about half an inch above the surface of the rice.
  3. After the rice is done, scoop it into a large bowl and let it air out and dry for a couple minutes.
  4. Add the soy sauce and sesame seed oil, folding the rice slowly until it’s a uniform brown.
  5. Set the rice aside and let it rest.

Preparing the vegetables

  1. Mix the frozen peas and carrots along with the garlic, ginger, yellow onion and green onion into a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Fill the bowl with water, cover, and microwave for 2 minutes.
  3. Strain out the water.

Preparing the meat

  1. In a large pot add the cooking oil and bring to medium heat.
  2. Add in the chopped Spam and pepper; stir occasionally until the Spam is lightly browned.
  3. Add in the strained vegetables from before; stir occasionally (so nothing sticks to the pot) until the vegetables soften and cook through (3-5 minutes).
  4. Drain out any excess oil/water and drop to medium-low heat

Preparing the eggs

  1. Prepare a a small, non-stick, frying pan with butter/oil/cooking spray, bring to medium heat.
  2. Pour out half of the beat eggs to form an egg pancake.
  3. When the bottom begins to brown, flip.
  4. Move the finished egg to a cutting board.
  5. Repeats steps 1-4 with the remaining egg.
  6. Stack the egg pancakes and cut into little 1/2 inch squares.

Mixing it all up

  1. Add the rice into the pot with your meat and vegetables. Go slowly, one scoop at a time, and try to distribute everything evenly (easier with older rice).
  2. Add in your egg pieces a handful at a time, pushing the rice around to help distribute the pieces without breaking them down any smaller.
  3. Keep the rice on low heat until it’s warm, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Of course you’re welcome to substitute other meats and vegetables as you see fit. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy it!