Salmon Poke Fun by Michelle Hahn

 In Recipe

I have been getting a lot of requests for this recipe since it won the Best that Swam, and the Best in Show categories at the Copper River Watershed 2017 Wild Food Feast. It is a non-traditional poke creation combining the flavors I enjoy.

This dish is only as good as the salmon that you use. Wild-caught, King/Chinook, Red/Sockeye, or Silver/Coho salmon are all lovely for this dish.

I like to use the tail end of the salmon and save the rich belly meat for grilling. Also, there are no pin bones in the tail. If you want to use the whole fillet, be sure to pull the pin bones out with a pair of needle-nose pliers.
It is easiest to cut and trim the fish when it is still partially frozen, or just slightly thawed. If the fish has been vacuum packed in the freezer more than 6 months, you will need to trim an eighth of an inch, or more, off of all sides of the fillet to remove any taste of freezer burn. It should smell sweet and fresh afterwards.

Ingredients and directions: 

This recipe is for about 2 cups of cubed salmon. You want enough liquid to cover the fish. Increase the amounts by half again, or double this recipe as you increase the fish. Allow at least 4 hours to prepare.

Combine all in a glass bowl:
¼ cup Coconut Aminos – made by Coconut Secret – this is organic coconut tree sap.
¼ cup Organic Tamari 100% Whole Soy – made by San-J
2 teaspoons Ume Plum Vinegar – made by Eden Foods
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons fresh diced ginger
½ to ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds – toast them first in a hot pan
Add about 2 cups cubed salmon ¬- the fish can be packed tightly and pressed under the liquid with a spoon.
Stir every hour – the salt in the poke mixture is pulling liquid out of the fish, while the flavors permeate it. This firms the fish.

Timing and draining – begin checking the flavor at about 2 ½ hours. How long it takes depends on the thickness of the pieces, plus how firm you want the fish, and how much flavor you want in the fish. Experiment to your taste. Drain in a colander and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
I like to eat it as is, or on a salad. It is usually served with crackers as a hors d’oeuvre. It is very versatile and can even be cooked for a hot snack, or added to omelets. Use your imagination and have fun!
The ingredients I use are sometimes not readily available in Cordova, so I order them from If you spend more than $25 dollars, it is a flat shipping fee of $10 to Alaska, no matter what the weight.