If you live in Southcentral Alaska then you’re probably keenly aware it is sockeye salmon season. My husband is getting his hipwaders and dipnets all ready for the coming week where he will camp out on the shores of the Kenai River and make the most of the everlasting daylight by fishing into the wee hours of the night.
We still have some vacuum-packed filets in the freezer from last year so to make way for this year’s bounty we are trying to find creative ways to use it up. Sure, there’s nothing better than simple grilled salmon with a drizzle of lemon, but my dad started preparing poke out of the frozen filets that tops any store bought ahi poke.
Poke is a Hawaiian salad made of cubed sashimi such as ahi tuna, soy sauce, sesame oil, onions and hot chili sauce. It’s a bit like spicy tuna sushi without the rice and seaweed.
Here’s my dad’s recipe, which uses fresh-frozen sockeye, a.k.a. red, salmon. Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration recommends freezing fresh fish and thawing it before consuming it raw because this kills any parasites. This is how sushi-grade fish is prepared in America. The FDA also says cooking seafood is the safest way to consume it, so prepare poke at your own risk. If you are pregnant or are at risk for food-borne illness, then please be cautious about consuming fresh-frozen fish.
With that disclaimer out of the way, here’s my dad’s recipe!
Wild Alaska Salmon Poke
As featured on Anchorage Food Mosaic
makes about 4 cups
2 pounds red salmon, previously frozen and thawed in the fridge overnight
1 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
2 Tbs. Nori Komi Furikake rice seasoning (optional)
2 Tbs. soy sauce
3 Tbs. sesame oil
2 Tbs. chili garlic sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbs. sesame seeds
Using a sharp filet knife, remove the skin from the salmon filets. If there are any pin bones, carefully remove them with needle nose pliers. Cut the salmon into bite-sized cubes.
Add all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. If you are not using the rice seasoning, add salt to taste. If you like a little more kick, add an extra tablespoon of the chili garlic sauce.
Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. Serve with sesame or rice crackers.
For more tasty Alaska recipes, check out my dad’s website.