[Lindsey Bartosh]

My absolute favorite vacation spot is the Big Island, Hawaii. This morning in Moab, with the sleet pelleting against the windows and the temperatures dropping quickly towards freezing, sandy warm beaches with rolling blue waves and sparkling sunshine sound pretty good.

Besides my love for the beach, the other thing that draws me to Hawaii is the food! I’m obsessed with fresh fish, and you can’t find a better selection than in Hawaii. It seems every restaurant features ono, Mahi Mahi, and ahi. 

I never turn down a big plate of deep-fried ono fish and chips, a fresh ahi tuna roll, or poke. But during my last vacation to the Big Island, I discovered a place compiling poke nachos, with crunchy wonton chips, sweet seaweed salad, and a spicy “cheese” sauce. I gave it a try, and they were nothing short of amazing—I ate poke nachos every night for dinner. 

When I got home, I was still obsessed. So, I made my own Moab desert variety of poke nachos featuring smoked salmon! It might be cold and snowy in Moab right now, but you can visit the beach anytime with this smoked salmon nacho plate. Enjoy!

Smoked Salmon Nachos 

Ingredients

Nacho ingredients

  • 2-3 pound slab salmon, skin-on
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • Wonton wrappers
  • Vegetable or canola oil for deep frying
  • Seaweed salad, pre-made
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 cucumber
  • Bunch green onions

Spicy mayo ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha 
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

Sweet soy sauce ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vodka
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

Instructions

Smoke the salmon

  1. Preheat the smoker to 450. Add your favorite wood for fish—I prefer a fruit wood, such as cherry.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and onion powders, ground ginger, and mirin.
  3. Massage the soy sauce mixture into the salmon, taking care to coat the entire surface.
  4. Place salmon skin side down on smoker.
  5. Smoke for thirty minutes for a two and half to three inch thick piece of fish. Smoker time will vary depending on fish thickness. (I set a timer for 22 minutes and began checking the salmon for “doneness” at this time every few minutes.)

Wonton chips

  1. Fill a ceramic dutch oven, or whatever heavy-bottomed pot you have on hand, and add enough oil to be about two inches deep. You need a high-heat oil, such as vegetable or canola, for frying.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 360 degrees.
  3. Place three to four wonton wrappers in the hot oil and let cook for about one minute. Flip and let them finish on the second side for about thirty seconds.
  4. Place the cooked chips on a paper towel to drain.

Spicy mayo

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sriracha, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. 
  2. Taste and adjust! 

Sweet soy sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the mirin, sugar, and vodka to a gentle boil.
  2. Cook until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  3. Add the soy sauce and reduce to a simmer.
  4. Reduce sauce for five to seven minutes, until just starting to thicken.

Compile the nachos

  1. Add a handful of the wonton chips to a bowl. 
  2. Add about a half cup of seaweed salad, thinly sliced cucumbers, and diced avocados.
  3. Flake the smoked salmon into bite-size pieces and add to the nachos. 
  4. Top with diced green onions.
  5. Drizzle on a few tablespoons of the spicy mayo and the sweet soy sauce. 
  6. Dig in!

Lindsey Bartosh, an eighth-generation Moab girl, loves hiking, hunting, fishing, cooking, writing, photography and working on her website www.huntingandcooking.com.