A Smokin’ Salmon Appetizer

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - May 27, 2009
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The Newcomers Club’s installation of officers at the Outrigger Canoe Club. Pictured are officers: Carolyn Hilton, Mira Savaro, Andrea Snyder, Victoria Martin, Bonnie and Steve Hightower and Sallie McQuaid

The lure of the Hawaiian Islands has always been vast, with beautiful beaches, warm trade winds, volcanic mountains and some of the friendliest people on the planet.

In welcoming new arrivals and kamaaina alike, the Newcomers Club offers members an opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities ranging from monthly meetings at top restaurants to speakers on the arts and culture, field trips to theaters and concerts, “Aloha Coffees,” garden tours, potluck parties, book discussions, golf and bridge tournaments and much more. That’s part of the reason some of the biggest promoters of local life belong to the Newcomers Club of Honolulu, which just elected its new officers for the coming year.

To join new president Andrea Snyder and her hard-working board of directors in this nonprofit organization, just log on to http://www.newcomer-sclubofhonolulu.org.

Here’s a delicious recipe with sweet Maui onion and wasabi to try out for your next potluck function.


In the United States, smoked salmon is served with cream cheese, onion, tomato and capers on toasted bagels for a satisfying meal. In Europe, smoked salmon is usually served as an appetizer with crisp toast points or bread, and in England it is served with dark bread and a squeeze of lemon, while in Germany it is often served with black bread.

Most salmon is cold smoked, which gives a nice texture to the fish but does not fully cook it.

In parts of the United States and Canada, especially the East Coast, cold-smoked salmon also is called lox, which comes from the German or Yiddish word lachs, which means salmon.

Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure, triglycerides and blood clots. According to American Heart Association guidelines, fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids should be eaten at least twice a week, and more if there is a history of heart disease.

Smoked salmon can vary greatly in sodium content, so if you are on a low-salt diet, be sure to read the nutrition information carefully. Also, different species of salmon will vary in the fat content and caloric values, so read labels carefully. The basic protein and minerals will remain pretty much the same, however. Salmon contains protein, calcium, iron and potassium with traces of vitamin A and C.


(If you like cream cheese and lox, you’ll love this combination)

* 2 (8-ounce) packages light cream cheese, softened

* 2 tablespoons finely chopped Maui onion

* 2 teaspoons wasabi,or to taste

* 1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch black pepper

* dash salt

* 6 ounces Nova Scotia salmon (lox), cut into small pieces

* cilantro, chopped fine, or chopped capers

In bowl, mix together cream cheese, onion, wasabi, pepper and salt until blended. Add smoked salmon and mix to combine evenly. Form mixture into a ball and roll in cilantro or capers. Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for about two hours, so flavors will blend. Serve with melba toast or crackers.

Makes about 16 servings.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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