Guam Kitchen: 3 yummy Chamorro salmon recipes

Guam Kitchen: 3 yummy Chamorro salmon recipes

by Army Lt. Col. (Ret.) Annette Merfalen
Annie's Chamorro Kitchen

Fresh Salmon Kelaguen

Kelaguen in Chamorro describes a dish that’s prepared by mixing the main ingredient (usually chicken, beef, deer, or seafood) with lemon or lime juice, onions, salt, and hot pepper. Chicken kelaguen is usually prepared with cooked (grilled, broiled or boiled) chicken. The other types of kelaguen–beef, deer, shrimp, and various types of fish–are most often prepared raw, with the meat or seafood getting cooked with the addition of an acid, usually lemon or lime juice.

Kelaguen is a staple dish at Chamorro parties. Sometimes, especially on Guam, an entire table is devoted to several types of kelaguen.

Salmon kelaguen is a favorite in our house. I know, I know…I’ve said a lot of the dishes I make are favorites. But really…this one is a REAL favorite (after shrimp kelaguen, that is).

I prefer fresh salmon with this recipe. If you’re in a pinch, canned salmon kelaguen is also tasty, but I still prefer fresh salmon any day. Give my recipe a try. If you like sushi, ceviche, or any type of kelaguen, then I know you’ll like this.


  • 2 pounds fresh salmon (red salmon, preferably)
  • 4 stalks green onions, sliced
  • The juice of 5-6 limes, more or less, to taste (or you can use lemon powder, mixed with a little bit of water)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, diced
  • Hot pepper, optional


  1. Rinse the salmon filet.  Pull out any salmon bones. Remove the skin, or leave it on if you prefer. I like the skin removed for kelaguen.
  2. Cut the salmon into small pieces.
  3. Thinly slice the green onions.
  4. Mix the salmon and green onions together in a small bowl.
  5. Squeeze about 1 cup of lime juice over the salmon and onions. Sprinkle salt over the mixture; start with about 1 teaspoon. Stir gently to combine all the ingredients and to dissolve the salt into the lime juice. Add more or less lime juice and/or salt, to taste.
  6. Stir in the diced tomatoes. Optional:  Add hot pepper, as much as you like. Serve with hot rice or titiyas. ENJOY!

Hoisin Honey Glazed Salmon

One of my favorite ways to prepare salmon is to bake it with some sort of savory sauce. The sauce keeps the salmon moist (adds tons of flavor too), and it bakes up in just minutes so you can have dinner on the table in no time.

This sauce is super delicious; if you like sauce (like I do), you might want to double the recipe so you have enough to drizzle over your rice.

Give my daughter’s recipe a try. I think you’ll like it.


  • 4 medium salmon filets
  • 5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  1. Clean and debone the salmon filets. Place in a 9X13 pan. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, place the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and honey. Stir to combine.
  3. Pour the sauce over the salmon filets. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.t
  4. Serve with my Kicked Up Brown Rice and my daughter’s Sesame Garlic Green Beans and ENJOY!


Herb Crusted Salmon with Wild Rice and Lemon Balsamic Salad

With the Lenten season upon us, I’m looking for opportunities to cook my favorite seafood different ways. One of my favorite types of seafood is salmon.

This is a very simple meal that’s healthy and delicious. I know it’s expensive (unless you’re a fisherman/woman and catch the salmon yourself), but if you can, use wild caught versus farm raised salmon. Without coming off sounding like a nutrition-nazi, suffice it to say that some (not all) farm-raised fish are grown and raised commercially in tanks or controlled pens. Due to the compact farming environment, these fish tend to have more artificial dyes, antibiotics, toxins and MORE FAT than compared to the wild-caught varieties.

Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now. But seriously, like my daughter said, you can’t put a price on your health, can you?

Serve the salmon with Wild Rice and a side salad with my delicious Lemon Balsamic Dressing and you’ve got yourself a delicious and healthy meal.

Give my recipes a try. I think you’ll like them.


Herb Crusted Salmon:

  • 3-4 pounds wild caught salmon, cut into filets (about 7 or 8 filets)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 6 tablespoons dried parsley (or use fresh)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Steamed Wild Rice:

  • 2 cups wild rice medley (use your rice cooker cup)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups water (use your rice cooker cup), or you can use organic, fat free chicken broth

Lemon Balsamic Salad

  • The juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Other Ingredients:
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced, optional

Herb Crusted Salmon:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the salmon filets on top of the parchment paper.
  2. Mix the olive oil, garlic and tahini together. Rub the mixture all over the top of the salmon.
  3. In a small bowl, mix  together the salt, coconut flour, dried parsley and black pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over each salmon filet.  Use your hand or the back of a spoon to press it into the tahini mixture.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  5. When the salmon is done, serve with Steamed Wild Rice and a side salad (about 1 cup of mixed greens and sliced onion) drizzled with Lemon Balsamic Salad Dressing.

Steamed Wild Rice:

  1. Place all of the ingredients for the Wild Rice into your rice cooker pot. Turn the pot to “cook”.  Let the rice continue steaming in the pot (keep the lid closed) for 5 minutes after the rice cooker turns to the “warm” setting.  Fluff with a fork if required.

Lemon Balsamic Salad Dressing

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I use a salad dressing mixing container I bought from Pampered Chef (it has a pour-spout, and the lid has a built-in whisk; you can make, serve, and store your dressing in one container).
  2. Toss the mixed greens and sliced onion together. Drizzle with lemon balsamic salad dressing.


Annie's Chamorro Kitchen website

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