How to Make Salmon Poke With Macadamia Nuts and Fried Shallots

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[Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Salmon isn't a Hawaiian fish, but it's still great in poke, the Hawaiian raw-fish salad. It also happens to be much easier to find in your average supermarket than ahi, skipjack, or other more traditional poke fish.

Because of its fattier texture and more robust flavor, salmon can stand up to some stronger mix-ins at the poke bar. For this version, I use the classic combination of soy sauce and sesame oil, along with a dollop of chili garlic sauce. Instead of the honey I use for sweetness in the tuna version, here I go with a handful of Thai-style fried shallots. (You can find them in Thai or Chinese markets, or just fry them yourself. Make a big batch, because they store well and you'll want to put them on everything.) I really like the way the shallots soften up in the dressing and cling to the salmon.

That fatty salmon begs for something crunchy for a change of texture. Macadamia nuts, toasted in a little oil in a skillet, are both a traditional Hawaiian ingredient and tasty.

The rest of the flavors are classic: sweet onion, scallions, and sesame seeds.

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The flavors in this particular poke are so strong that I find it's best served over some steamed rice. (I do it Japanese style, with no salt in the rice—the sauce is plenty salty.) I love dishes like this in the summertime that require little to no cooking and only a few minutes in the kitchen, yet feel sophisticated, satisfying, and delicious.