Lomi Lomi ・ ロミロミ

2010.04.06 (Tue)

The following is an adaptation of an article that appeared in the April 2010 edition of the Yurihama town newsletter.


Since December of last year, the town has been participating in a salmon hatchery project, and as part of the project, we had been raising salmon in the town hall. Though they started off as small eggs, in just three months the salmon grew to about five centimeters in length. In March, we released them into Lake Togo with the help of some students from Hawai Elementary School.


Unfortunately for the salmon, many people find them very delicious. Even in Hawaii, which has no native salmon population, we have a traditional food called “lomi lomi salmon.” This dish actually has an international origin; it started being made when western sailors brought salmon to Hawaii in the nineteenth century. The fish was adapted to Hawaiian tastes, and lomi lomi salmon was born.


In Hawaiian, “lomi” means to massage or rub. As its name suggests, lomi lomi salmon is prepared by “massaging” salted salmon with diced tomatoes and onions. It’s an essential side dish at any luau, and it has a fresh taste that I think Japanese people would enjoy as well.


“Lomi lomi” is also the name of a traditional Hawaiian massage. The massage is performed using one’s hands, elbows, and knees; and sometimes even stones are used. In ancient Hawaii, lomi lomi was used in conjunction with prayer to heal certain ailments, and it was considered a very spiritual practice. Though much of spiritual component of lomi lomi has been lost in modern times, it still remains a popular type of massage in Hawaii.




  1. would you like me to send you a picture of lomi lomi salmon for your blog?

  2. Nice shot of the sakura!
    You should do an entry on poi and tie it in to the one on lomi salmon, ’cause I think we both know that’s a match made in heaven.

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