Salty Poke and Lomi

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

To the world’s repertoire of raw fish dishes, the Hawaiian islands have contributed poke (“slice,” “cut”) and lomi (“rub,” “press,” “squeeze”). These are small pieces of tuna, marlin, and other fish, coated with salt for varying periods (until the fish stiffens, if it’s to be kept for some time), and mixed with other flavorful ingredients, traditionally seaweed and roasted candlenuts. Lomi is unusual in that the piece of fish is first worked between the thumb and fingers before salting, to break some of the muscle sheets and fibers apart from each other and soften the texture.