We’ve been enjoying Dynamite at sushi restaurants for decades, but had never thought to prepare it at home. Recently we enjoyed another fabulous meal at Roy Choi’s Best Friend on the Vegas Strip. Every single dish was intriguing, with bold delicious flavors. His Uni Dynamite Rice was no exception.
Now, the other day I made another fantastic platter of sockeye salmon crudo from my Sitka Salmon Shares, and had some leftover pieces of salmon after I had arranged the fish on the plate. Since receiving my shipment of sashimi-grade Alaskan salmon, I’ve been looking for more raw fish recipes. I pulled out Chef Sam Choy’s cookbook, Poke, and came across his recipe for Salmon Dynamite.
As a super-tasty use for my leftover salmon pieces and a way to reimagine Best Friend’s dish… the inspiration for my Salmon and Scallop Dynamite recipe comes from Chef Roy Choi and Chef Sam Choy. A Choi-Choy Dynamite you might say.
Sam Choy is a four-time nominee for the James Beard Best Pacific Regional chef award, winning in 2004. He is often credited as the “Godfather of Poke” and the Culinary Ambassador of the Big Island. Read my interview with him about poke and sustainability here.
Chef Roy Choi’s amazing Uni Dynamite Rice is pictured above with salmon roe, sriracha, yuzu, and sesame. All the dishes we have tried are unique and mind-blowing. On a previous visit to Best Friend we had an extraordinary vegetarian Eggplant Schnitzel, read about it here.
The Chef says of his restaurant at Park MGM, “It’s Koreatown in a capsule – a portal to the streets of LA, but also rooted in what makes Las Vegas… VEGAS.”
The bright red-orange color of sockeye salmon flesh comes from eating plankton and krill while they are in the ocean. Fans of wild Alaska salmon appreciate the sockeye variety for its deep rich flavor, delightful fatty texture, and gorgeous striking color.
I recently joined Sitka Salmon Shares, a community supported fishery, where we share in the catch of Alaskan small-boat fishermen using low-impact gear that respects the ocean and its sea life. This month we received a box of Sockeye Salmon with fish from both Prince William Sound and Bristol Bay.
The dense, firm flesh makes sockeye a great fish for serving raw. And because it’s blast-frozen, Sitka Salmon is all sashimi-grade. They say, “The on-boat standards our fishermen follow, short boat trips, and individual handling of our fish ensures the quality demanded by any raw preparation. But it’s the blast-freezing process that kills parasites that could be in the fish, which would otherwise be killed by heat in cooking.”
“Margarita” Salmon Burger with Tequila, Lime, and Hatch Chiles
This unconventional salmon burger – spiked with flavors of a refreshing Margarita and studded with spicy-hot fire-roasted chiles – captures the essence of summer’s last days and our beloved Hatch chile season. Where the tequila and fresh lime add zing, and the Hatch chiles add heat – these fresh ground salmon burgers are lively, sure to perk up the last long hot days of summer. Relax on Labor Day, enjoy a Margarita or sip some tequila, and savor a spicy “Margarita” salmon burger!
Korean Grilled Salmon, Gochujang-Soju Marinade Mixed Lettuce Salad with Cucumber & Radish Batons Served with Ice Cold Soju
Gochujang, a red chili paste with sweet heat and a funky fermented umami richness is used as a base for many marinades. Combined with soju, sesame oil, and soy sauce – this gochujang marinade lends a complex flavor profile to the smoky salmon’s unctuous texture.
Ice cold soju makes a perfect accompaniment to grilled salmon. This Korean alcoholic beverage distilled from rice has slightly floral and barely sweet flavors. Pleasantly light and refreshing with a round mouth-feel, and an alcoholic content of 20%, it is usually enjoyed neat, sipped from a shot glass. In this dish, the salmon is obviously the star, a fresh crisp salad and smooth snappy soju play the supporting roles.
Korean Grilled Salmon, Gochujang-Soju Marinade Recipe
Excerpts from the Address of Hon. Robert G. Cousins
On the Twelfth of February, Nineteen Hundred
In every part and in almost every city in America, on this last anniversary in the century which produced him, a grateful people meet to pay their homage to the memory of Abraham Lincoln.
Not that it is possible for human speech to addto his renown,
but rather that we may dedicate ourselves and the Nation which he loved to a better understanding of his character and the principles for which he lived and died.