This month’s recipe is a gift from Gail, a family friend from Alaska. This recipe calls for wild, Alaskan salmon, but I intend on trying it next time using a local fish such as Mahi Mahi. I made the recipe while visiting my mother on the Olympic Peninsula where wild salmon is still abundantly found. We enjoyed it hot the first night on a scoop of rice, and it was just as good the next day, cold atop a crisp, green salad. Funny, growing up in the Northwest, we ate wild salmon so frequently that I grew sick of it and refused to eat it for many years. Today, wild salmon is a special treat that we rarely can get in Hawaii.
Gail, who generously shared this recipe with me, has a home in Kona. Like many Alaskans, her family visits Hawaii every winter. There are a multitude of Alaskans I have met in Kona and there are also many Hawaiians I know who have moved to Alaska. I ponder the connection between these two regions. There definitely seems to be a special draw between the two areas, and my question is, is it an attraction of opposites or the appeal of parallel mentalities?
Both Alaska and Hawaii became states in 1959, the last two in the USA, and both are removed from the rest of the country by a great divide. In Hawaii, the continental US is referred to as “the mainland” separated from Hawaii by 3000 miles of ocean. In Alaska, they refer to the continental US as “the lower 48”.
Although both states are constituents of the US, we are similar in our being aware of our “otherness”. The differences are very evident; Alaska is the most northern state, Hawaii is the most southern. Alaska is cold, Hawaii warm. Alaska is primarily a red Republican state; Hawaii is almost totally a blue Democratic state!
But what brought so many Alaskans to Hawaii? I discovered that back in the 1970’s that the airlines taking residents of Alaska to the lower 48 would offer a supplementary flight to Hawaii for a mere $25, creating a triangular flight from Alaska, to the mainland, to Hawaii and back to Alaska. No wonder that many Alaskans decided to take up residency in Hawaii during the winters!
I hope you enjoy this gorgeous topping for fish using our piquant Hawaiian Chili Pepper honey.
Serves 2 people
- 1 lb salmon filet
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon Big Island Bees Hawaiian Chili Pepper Honey
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- Salt and pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400F. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil onto a rimmed baking pan.
- Place the dry salmon filet onto the center of the foil.
- Rub the salmon with olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, stir to combine the ginger, cilantro, honey and lime juice.
- Pour the mixture over the salmon and spread evenly over the filet. Fold the edges of the foil up towards the salmons to keep the juice in but do not cover the salmon.
- Bake for 12-17 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet. Check to make sure the filet does not dry out.
- Spoon the juices on top before serving.