Hoi Polloi Salmon

Hoi Polloi Salmon

This gorgeous dish comes to us courtesy of Bun Lai, owner of Miya Sushi in New Haven, CT. Chef Lai says, “I wanted to create a salmon dish that the average person afraid of raw fish would like – a salmon dish for the masses -therefore called hoi polloi salmon. I like to see this dish as sashimi with a Mexican-Italian twist because Mexicans are closely related to the Japanese – they were only separated from one another towards the end of the last Ice Age!”
4 servings


14 ounces freshest salmon (make sure all bones, skin and fat are removed), cut into small dice
½ cup tomato, small dice
½ cup Spanish onion, small dice
1/3 cup capers
2 tablespoons of the caper juice
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup red pepper, small dice
1 pinch cayenne pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4 flour tortillas
Vegetable oil, for frying


Fryer, or a small heavy-bottomed saucepan for frying the tortillas


Prepare the salmon:
Combine all ingredients (except tortillas and vegetable oil) in a large bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set the mixture aside in the refrigerator to keep chilled.

Prepare the tortilla cups:
Preheat the vegetable oil to 350° F in a fryer or in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Using a small knife, cut triangles toward the center of each tortilla, leaving eight (8) 1-inch long points.

Place tortillas In 350° F oil, and using a 2 ounce ladle, press down on the center of the tortilla. Fry for 2 minutes, allowing the tortilla to form a cup, then remove and place on a paper towel to drain.


Place a very small amount of cooked rice in the center of the plate to hold the tortilla cup in place. Once the tortilla cup is on the plate, add a equal amount of the salmon mixture to each tortilla cup.

[Chef’s Note: Use a slotted spoon to remove excess liquid from the mixture so the tortilla remains crisp.]

To garnish, slice three thin rounds of cucumber, then slice them in half, leaving three half-rounds. Fan them out evenly and place them on top of the salmon mixture in the tortilla cup, then finish with a dollop of salmon caviar and finely sliced scallions around the tortilla cup.

Copyright © 2007 Bun Lai. Photograph by Edgar Cardenas. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

68 Howe Street
New Haven, CT
(203) 777 9760