Home » Blog » Lomi ‘Ō’io Recipe

Lomi ‘Ō’io Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Sharing is caring!

Lomi ‘ō’io or bonefish is a classic Hawaiian dish made of spoon scraped fish mixed with aromatics and other delicious flavors. A true Hawaiian delicacy that makes a great appetizer.

lomi oio in a bowl

‘Ō’io or bonefish is a popular fish here in Hawai’i as well as the Bahamas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Bonefish, as the name suggests, have many bones and can be difficult to pick out and eat when cooked.

Rather than cook this fish, the ancient Hawaiians made what is called lomi ‘ō’io. 

What is lomi ‘ō’io?

Lomi ‘ō’io is a classic Hawaiian dish that is made by scraping out the meat of the fish with a spoon and mixing with various ingredients to create a delicious appetizer.

lomi oio

How to prepare ‘ō’io?

As previously mentioned, ‘ō’io or bonefish has many bones. It takes some time to clean out the mean from the bones, but it is all worth it.

  1. Remove scales from fish by using a scaler or spoon. Hold the spoon parallel to the fish with the edge just under the flap of the scale. Rub the spoon from tail to head in a swift motion to dislodge the scales. Be sure to remove all the scales. You can gently rub the fish with your hands to massage the meat and soften it.
  2. Next place the tip of a sharp knife in the hole on the bottom of the belly. Carefully make a shallow cut from the hole to towards the head of the fish. Next lift the pectoral fin near the fish’s head and make a cut from the top of the fish to the bottom. Repeat this on the other side. Bend and twist the head to detach and remove the inner organs. Rinse out the belly of the fish.
  3. Next to filet. Lay fish on its side. Make a vertical cut near the tail. Then cut along the dorsal or top of the fish. While holding the tail run the knife from the tail to the head along the fish’s spine in single long cuts. Flip and repeat on the other side. Rinse.
  4. Lastly to remove the meat. Take a spoon and scrape the meat going in the direction of the bones. Place scraped meat in a bowl. Once all the meat has been removed from the filets and carcass sift through the meat to remove any bones and scales that may have gotten into the meat. Your meat is now ready to use for this recipe.

Once the meat is cleaned from the fish you can use it to make lomi ‘ō’io, ‘ō’io won tons, or even ‘ō’io patties.

lomi oio in a bowl

What does lomi mean? 

Lomi in Hawaiian means to massage. Lomi ‘ō’io describes the process of lomi to the meat of the fish to soften and mix.

Ingredients for Hawaiian lomi ‘ō’io recipe

  • ‘Ō’io (bonefish)
  • Water
  • Hawaiian salt. If you don’t have Hawaiian salt you can use any rock salt that you have.
  • Green onion
  • Limu kohu. Limu kohu is popular red seaweed used in Hawaiian fish and seafood dishes. It is often stored frozen in a brick shape. Use a grater to grate while the limu kohu is still frozen.
  • Inamona or roasted kukui nut. This is a popular Hawaiian ingredient in fish and seafood dishes as well. If you can’t get your hands on this you could substitute for chopped macadamia nuts.
  • Hawaiian chili peppers. These small peppers really pack in the spice. You can opt to use chili pepper water as well. If you don’t have Hawaiian chili peppers you can substitute for any other chili as you wish.
lomi oio ingredients

How to store lomi ‘ō’io?

Just like any other fish, it is best kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

How long does lomi ‘ō’io last?

Raw fish will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 days .

Can you freeze lomi ‘ō’io?

Yes. It is best to place in an airtight container or zip top bag and then place in the freezer. It will keep for 3-6 months.

Other delicious Hawaiian foods

How to make lomi ‘ō’io?

  1. To a medium sized bowl add o’io, water, and Hawaiian salt. Using chopsticks or a fork mix until mixture becomes a paste like consistency.
  2. Once you get the consistency you like add green onions, limu kohu, inamona, and chili peppers. Mix until well combined.
  3. Enjoy!
lomi oio in a bowl

Lomi ‘Ō’io

Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Lomi ‘ō’io or bonefish is a classic Hawaiian dish made of spoon scraped fish mixed with aromatics and other delicious flavors. A true Hawaiian delicacy that makes a great appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup scraped ‘ō’io (bonefish)*
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Hawaiian salt
  • 2 tablespoons green onion
  • 1 tablespoon limu kohu
  • 1 teaspoon inamona (roasted kukui nut)
  • 3 Hawaiian chili peppers

Instructions

  1. To a medium sized bowl add ‘ō’io, water, and Hawaiian salt. Using chopsticks or a fork mix until mixture becomes a paste like consistency.
  2. Once you get the consistency you like add green onions, limu kohu, inamona, and chili peppers. Mix until well combined.
  3. Enjoy!

Notes

*To scrape ‘ō’io, allow fish to rest on ice for a couple of days. Once ready to eat massage fish to soften. Filet the fish. Then use a spoon to scrape the meat off the bones going in the direction of the bones.

*If you like your ‘ō’io on the thinner side you can add more water and if you like it on the thicker side add less water.

*Hawaiian chili peppers can be quite spicy. You can add more or less to get the spice level you desire. Adding the seeds will make it spicier.

*Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for a day or two.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 14Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 533mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Tried this recipe? Tag me on social. I’d love to see and share it.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/keeping.it.relle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/keepingitrelle

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/keepingitrelle

Tried and love this recipe? Please give it a rating.

Pin for later.


By on December 7th, 2020

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

More posts by this author.

Leave a Comment

Skip to Recipe