In Hawaii, there’s one particular type of meal called “lomi,” which translates to mean ‘raw fish.’
Lomi is a traditional Hawaiian dish consisting of raw fish, tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers.
What Is Lomi?
Lomi is a traditional Hawaiian dish made from raw fish, tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers.
The name comes from the word for ‘raw fish’ or ‘lohi’ in Hawaiian language.
History of lomi
Historians believe that lomi originated around 500 AD as an ancient Polynesian way of preserving food before it spoiled.
It was common practice among Hawaiians to eat raw foods like fish because they didn’t have refrigeration until very recently (in modern times).
As such, people would preserve their fish by wrapping them tightly with leaves, then covering the entire bundle with another layer of leaves, and finally sealing it up with banana bark.
This method is still used today, but instead of bananas, coconut oil is now commonly used.
The coconut oil helps seal the package so that the fish doesn’t spoil.
What Are The Ingredients In Lomi?
The main ingredient in lomi is usually cooked or fresh sashimi-grade tuna.
Sushi grade tuna has been frozen at -20 degrees Celsius for a minimum of two weeks before it can be used as part of this dish.
Other ingredients may include diced green papaya, red onion, ginger root, garlic cloves, lemon juice, ketchup, soy sauce, salt, pepper, coconut milk, and/or sweet potato cubes.
Lomi can also contain other ingredients such as eggs, avocado, mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, and tofu.
But these items are typically only added during preparation time once all the other ingredients have been mixed together with the fish.
How Do You Make Lomi?
Lomi can be made with either fresh or frozen fish depending on your preference.
For this article, I used fresh sashimi-grade tuna because it was readily available at my local grocery store.
To begin making lomi, first place the tuna into a large bowl.
Next, add the onion, green pepper, chili powder, salt, sugar, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and soy sauce.
Mix thoroughly so that all of the ingredients are well distributed throughout the tuna.
Next, cut up two tomatoes and mix them together in another small bowl.
After mixing these two items together, pour the tomato mixture over the tuna and stir until everything has been coated thoroughly.
The next step involves slicing the remaining green pepper and red onion thinly enough so that they will fit inside of a dehydrator tray.
Once sliced, put them onto a drying rack set atop a baking sheet (or any other flat surface).
Place the dehydrating trays in an oven preheated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.
This process dries out the vegetables while also seasoning them.
After removing the dehydrated vegetables from the oven, take the tuna salad out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
Serve it cold, garnished with finely chopped cilantro if desired.
What Is The History Of Lomi?
The origin of lomi can be traced back to ancient Polynesian cultures.
At first, lomi was made with just saltwater or seawater, but over time it evolved into its current version.
Today, lomi includes fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, as well as meat and seafood.
Lomi originated from an island called Hawaiʻi, where it remains popular today.
It has been used for centuries by Native Hawaiians to cure illnesses and heal wounds.
The name comes from the word “loa,” meaning “to beat up.”
What Are The Different Types Of Lomi?
There are many variations on the classic lomi recipe, but the most common versions include either tuna or salmon (or both).
Other popular options include mahi-mahi, snapper, yellowtail, halibut, mackerel, sea bass, swordfish, and even eel.
The only stipulation is that it must be very fresh and not frozen.
The key ingredient for any lomi dish is the marinated and sliced onion, which gives the whole dish its flavor.
Other vegetables can also be added depending on what kind of fish you choose.
For example, if you decide to use halibut, add diced tomatoes and green beans to the mix.
You can also add mushrooms, avocado slices, bell pepper strips, cucumber sticks, jicama sticks, cabbage leaves, and celery stalks as well.
If you want to spice things up, then feel free to add sriracha sauce, sesame seeds, or cilantro to your lomi, among other spices.
If you don’t like spicy food, then try adding hot sauce instead.
Lomi has been around since 1820 when King Kamehameha I decided to introduce his subjects to this new delicacy.
Since then, the dish has become a staple among Hawaiians and tourists alike.
What Are The Benefits Of Lomi?
Lomi has many health benefits for your body and mind.
The key ingredient in this dish, as with any good food, is freshness.
So, when we talk about its benefits, it can be said that eating lomi will increase your energy levels as well as improve your digestion.
It also helps boost your immune system and fight off certain diseases.
Some people may experience a rise in their blood pressure after having too much lomi.
This doesn’t happen often but if you have an underlying condition such as high blood pressure or heart disease, then it’s better to avoid it altogether.
If you want to try out some lomi recipes, check out these healthy options below!
1. Improves Digestion
It’s common knowledge that consuming hot foods like spicy curries makes your digestive system work harder than normal.
On top of that, eating something cold could cause diarrhea because you don’t digest properly.
However, by adding raw fish into the mix, you get all the heat without the extreme temperature change.
2. Helps Fight Off Diseases
Not only does lomi give you more energy, but it also provides protection against various illnesses.
For example, eating lomi before going on vacation can help prevent traveler’s diarrhea that usually occurs due to poor sanitation conditions at local restaurants.
3. Boosts Immune System
The key ingredient in lomi is fresh tuna and red snapper.
These two fishes contain omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Moreover, they also provide other essential nutrients including zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, and calcium.
4. Reduces Stress Levels
If you find yourself experiencing stress in life, then lomi might just be what you need.
Eating this dish regularly will reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, especially if you suffer from chronic stress.
5. Promotes Healthy Skin
When you eat lomi regularly, it will keep your skin smooth and glowing.
As mentioned above, it contains essential vitamins and minerals that nourish the skin cells, making them stronger and healthier.
6. Keeps You Active
Since lomi is made up of raw fish, it gives our bodies the necessary protein to build muscle mass and burn fat.
By boosting your metabolism, lomi keeps you active throughout the day so you won’t feel tired easily.
7. Maintains Proper Blood Sugar Level
Eating lomi regularly will keep your sugar level balanced and stable.
When you consume this dish, you are able to absorb the glucose and insulin from the food faster and maintain proper blood sugar levels.
8. Prevents Cancer Risk
By ingesting lomi regularly, you lower your risk of developing cancer since it contains a large amount of antioxidants and fiber.
Both of those things promote weight loss and lower inflammation in the body.
9. Increases Heart Health
There are specific benefits of eating lomi that go beyond just keeping us fit.
One of them includes increasing the cholesterol levels in the arteries.
Since lomi contains an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids, it improves blood circulation and reduces plaque buildup in the arteries.
10. Makes You Smarter
Did you know that lomi increases brain function? Yes, eating this dish boosts memory retention.
According to a study conducted by researchers at University College London, eating lomi improved cognitive ability in older adults who suffered from dementia.
In fact, participants experienced increased mental alertness after eating this dish.
And, not only did they perform better on tests, they were also less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
What Are The Side Effects Of Lomi?
Lomi has been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until recently when people began to realize its health benefits.
In fact, many believe that lomi can be used as an alternative to chemotherapy or radiation treatments due to its ability to destroy cancer cells.
However, this is not always true.
While lomi may help with certain cancers, it doesn’t work on all types.
It also doesn’t take away the need to undergo other treatment methods like surgery and radiation therapy.
Additionally, lomi isn’t recommended for pregnant women because it contains raw seafood, which isn’t safe during pregnancy.
Can lomi cure cancer?
There have been several studies claiming that lomi helps cancer patients recover faster than those who don’t use the dish.
However, these results are controversial and more research needs to be done before any conclusions can be made about the effectiveness of lomi in treating cancer.
There is no evidence that shows that eating lomi will stop your body from getting cancer altogether.
It’s important to note that if someone has already undergone chemotherapy or radiation therapy, then they should avoid using lomi because of the risks involved.
If you choose to eat raw fish, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider first so that you get proper guidance on how much and what kind of fish is okay for consumption.
Is lomi safe to consume?
Raw seafood carries risk factors related to foodborne illnesses such as botulism.
Therefore, lomi must be prepared carefully by following specific safety measures.
For example, you shouldn’t drink water while preparing lomi, since doing so would increase the chances of you ingesting bacteria found in seawater.
You should also keep the fresh fish separate from the ingredients, including the tomato sauce, and never leave them out overnight.
How Do You Store Lomi?
Lomi can be stored for up to five days if it’s refrigerated or frozen.
If it’s not being used right away, wrap it with plastic wrap first, then put it into an air-tight container.
You can also freeze lomi by wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil and placing it in freezer bags.
Keep it in the refrigerator until needed.
To thaw lomi, simply place the bagged item directly into warm water.
How Long Does Lomi Last?
Lomi is typically prepared with fresh tuna or mackerel, but canned tuna can also be used.
The freshness of a fish will affect how long it lasts in your refrigerator.
If it’s been frozen, thawed out, and then refrozen again, it may not have much flavor left by the time you eat it.
If you plan on storing lomi for a few days, I recommend freezing it first so that it doesn’t spoil too quickly once defrosted.
Storage tips for lomi
Freezing lomi before preparing it helps preserve its flavor.
You should always try to freeze as many dishes at home as possible because they take up less room in your freezer than if you were to buy them from stores.
You can freeze most foods except meat, dairy products, and eggs.
For fish, marinate it in lemon juice and olive oil after removing all bones and skin, and refrigerate overnight.
Then, transfer it to an airtight container and freeze it until solid.
When you’re ready to use, simply remove the fish from the freezer and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
It’ll defrost more easily when it’s still cold.
What Are Some Lomi Recipe Ideas?
There are many ways to prepare lomi depending on your preference.
You can choose from several variations such as kalbi style or sweet potato style.
There are also numerous recipes for this unique food item.
For example, you might try making it with salmon.
If you want to learn more about how to cook lomi, we recommend reading our article here.
It will give you an idea of what to expect when preparing this delicious dish.
Sweet Potato Style
- 1 pound (454 grams) cubed sweet potatoes
- ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
- 8 ounces (227 grams) boneless, skinless cod fillet
This recipe has a bit more spice than the other options. If you like spicy foods, then these may be the best choices for you.
- 5 pounds (2265 grams) beef short ribs
- 6 tablespoons (85 ml) sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) unsalted butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 10 cups (2257 grams) tomato sauce (homemade preferred)
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 bay leaves
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 head cabbage, halved, quartered, core removed, thinly sliced
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Spicy Tuna Sashimi Style
You might not think of tuna as being very healthy, but if prepared correctly, it can be beneficial to your health!
This recipe uses sushi rice instead of regular white rice because it gives the dish a nutty flavor.
- 1 pound (454 grams) yellowfin tuna loin
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) soy sauce
- Juice of ½ lime
- Pinch of sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground mace
- ⅛ teaspoon ground fennel seed
- ⅛ teaspoon ground star anise
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground white peppercorn
- 2 cups cooked sushi rice
- Soybean sprouts
- Red leaf lettuce
- Shredded carrot
- Pickled ginger
Korean Barbecue Shrimp Recipe
This Korean barbecue shrimp recipe is made with marinated shrimp, so it’s a great option for those who don’t eat seafood.
- 12 small shrimp
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Pepper powder to taste
- Chopped scallions
- Crispy shallots
- Thickly sliced cucumbers
- Fresh basil sprigs
- Kimchi dressing
Chili Lime Salmon Recipe
Salmon isn’t always easy to find at the grocery store, but luckily, you can get it frozen.
This chili lime sautéed salmon recipe combines two flavors that go well together — chili and lime.
The combination makes for a tasty and flavorful dinner.
- 2 pounds (907 grams) center-cut salmon filets
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ tablespoon chili paste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
- 1 lime wedge
- Hot sauce to taste
- Cooking spray
- Fresh cilantro sprigs
- Rinse the salmon under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Combine olive oil, lemon and lime juices, chili paste, salt, cayenne pepper, and 2 teaspoons of chopped cilantro in a bowl. Whisk until combined completely.
- Set aside.
- Heat a grill pan over high heat. Spray the pan lightly with cooking spray.
- Place each piece of salmon in the bowl containing the marinade mixture, turning to coat evenly.
- Grill the salmon pieces for 5 minutes per side. Remove the salmon from the grill and serve immediately topped with hot sauce and garnished with cilantro sprigs.
- 1 lb miki noodles
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 1/4 lb cooked Kikiam quekia
- 1/4 lb pork sliced
- 6 to 8 pieces cooked meatballs
- 3 tablespoons cassava flour
- 1/4 lb ham chopped
- 1/4 lb pig’s liver sliced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 cups beef broth
- 1 cup chicharon pork cracklings
- 1 piece raw egg beaten
- 2 tablespoons onion leeks
- 2 to 3 pieces hard boiled eggs optional
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- Cooking oil is added after heating a cooking pot.
- Sauté the garlic and onions once the oil is heated enough.
- Sliced pork should be added and cooked until medium brown.
- Cook the ham and liver for 2 minutes after adding them.
- Stir in the fish sauce and soy sauce.
- Add the broth and allow to boil. Simmer the pork strips until they are tender (about 20 to 30 minutes)
- Cook the meatballs and kikiam together for three minutes.
- Cook for 5 to 6 minutes after adding the miki noodles and freshly ground black pepper.
- Stir thoroughly before adding the water-diluted cassava flour. Cook the sauce until it thickens.
- Pour the beaten egg in after turning off the heat. Up until the egg is fully mixed, stir continuously.
- Place chicharron and sliced boiled egg on top after transferring to a serving bowl. Leeks and onions for garnish.
- Serve warm. Enjoy and share!