I used to eat fish no more than a few times a month. Over the past year, my family made a shift to enjoying it at least once per week, which quickly became a twice-a-week occurrence.
Lately fish has turned into the main protein source on my family’s plate about three times a week, with all of us, including my 4 and 6-year-old kids, absolutely loving a variety of species from the sea. From local rockfish, halibut and salmon to yellowfin tuna, albacore and seabass, I utilize an array of preparation techniques depending on what we’re making.
Our family tends to bounce back and forth between both cooked and raw preparations. When choosing the raw option, it’s important you select fish that is appropriate for such use.
In regards to salmon, for example, the fish should first go through a proper freezing process to ensure it is absent of parasites and safe to consume raw.
Salmon is one fish that is always at the top of our list. Thankfully at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers’ markets, Ben Hyman of Wild Local Seafood Co. has some excellent sashimi/sushi grade wild king salmon that I have been purchasing on a weekly basis.
There are a couple of ways that I regularly enjoy my raw salmon. The first is very simple: raw fish on a plate that is splashed with a couple of lemon wedges, then enjoyed dipped in a little soy sauce with wasabi worked in. The other is to prepare a poke-style recipe, with the salmon tossed in a mix of sesame oil, green onion, sesame seeds, chili garlic sauce and soy sauce.
Sometimes I’ll add avocado, sometimes julienned carrots, sliced red onion and/or jalapeño.
A raw salmon poke recipe can be served right on a platter as is, over sticky rice with Chinese cabbage or in homemade sushi rolls. It’s super fresh, incredibly healthy — and beyond delicious.
Raw Salmon Poke Sashimi
½ pound sashimi grade salmon (I used Wild Local Seafood Co.’s poke cut, which does not require and slicing)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce (reduce or omit if heat-sensitive)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
3-4 green onions, diced
1 ripe, firm avocado, diced
In a mixing bowl, combine salmon, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic chili sauce, green onion and sesame seeds. Toss until well incorporated. Then gently toss in avocado. Serve on a platter as it comes. Add to a sushi roll or with sticky rice and shredded cabbage.
Yield: Serves 2.