10/2/08

Ahi Tuna Appetizer

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One of my favorite things to eat in this whole world is ahi tuna prepared rare. It has such a fresh and bright taste and it's even pretty to look at. Mark picked up a lovely piece of tuna initially to make sushi with, but it's fate ended up being this appetizer instead. This is, you guessed it, another FOODIE original. In my opinion, it's a delicious appetizer with lots of interesting flavors and textures.

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To make this appetizer, first put together the slaw. This slaw is one of the best things about this dish. It's got a peanut-y taste and it pairs beautifully with the tastes of the tuna with a touch of wasabi. Oh, and don't even get me started on the naan chips. SO good.

So anyway, on to the slaw. Simply shred up 2 cups of green cabbage and set aside in a large bowl. Next, shell some unsalted peanuts (or salted if that's all you have) and chop them up until you have a 1/2 cup or so. A little less would be fine, too. Then, make the sauce for the slaw. This involves whisking together 2 tbsp Tamari soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp dark sesame oil, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp honey, and 3 tbsp peanut butter. Mix together until you have a creamy sauce. Now keep all of these three components separate until you're ready to serve the slaw. That way, the slaw will be very crisp in texture. So go ahead and set that stuff aside for now.

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Next, some more prep work. Slice up a cucumber on the bias to create these lovely cucumber chips to be served with the appetizer. Also, slice a scallion on the bias to create a lovely garnish. I used the green and white parts.

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Now take a look at this... just perfect. This type of fish is absolutely my favorite type of sushi. Now, what do you do with this fish? Not much at all.

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Just roll all sides of the fish in toasted sesame seeds. Yep, that's it. That's the extent of it. Believe me, you need not do anything else.

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Next, sear the fish on a hot cast iron griddle or pan, only about a minute on each side. Keep in mind, this fish can be eaten raw, so you're only giving it color on each side, you're not trying to cook it. You want to make sure that you have that beautiful red inside when you cut it into strips.

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Set the fish aside on a plate to cool. Now, it's time to get the naan chips ready. All you do is brush both sides of a couple pieces of naan bread with some olive oil, then throw it on the same hot griddle you just get done searing your fish on. Cook until blistered and brown on each side, which only takes about a minute a side. Then remove from the griddle onto a cutting board.

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Cut the toasted naan into triangles with a pizza cutter. The naan chips will be toasty on the outside and soft on the inside. Without brushing it with oil and toasting it, naan really doesn't have that much flavor... but that little bit of work makes it taste SO good. I try and make excuses to eat it as often as I can actually. I think it would be great with mexican food-type dips, too.

And that's about it for the work... it's time to get this appetizer plated up! Take your seared piece of tuna and cut it in half lengthwise. Then slice each half into 1/4 inch slices, revealing the pretty red center.

The very last step is to mix together 2 cups of the shredded cabbage with a 1/2 cup of the slaw sauce. Now, to plate, simply mound a bit of the slaw onto the plate and sprinkle it with some of the chopped nuts. Next, take about 5 or 6 slices of the seared tuna and lean them against the slaw. Sprinkle the sliced scallions over the tuna and slaw. Lay some naan triangles onto the plate, along with a couple slices of cucumber and a small dollop of wasabi sauce.

If you love ahi tuna like I do, make this appetizer. You will LOVE it, I promise.



Ahi Tuna Appetizer

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Ingredients:
1 12oz. piece of sushi grade ahi tuna
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
extra virgin olive oil
small head of green cabbage, shredded
1 green onion (scallion)
1 small cucumber, sliced on the bias into thick "chips"
2 tbspn Tamari soy sauce
2 tbspn rice vinegar
1 tbspn dark sesame oil
1 tbspn oyster sauce
1 tbspn honey
3 tbspn peanut butter (creamy)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (unsalted)
2 pieces of naan bread

Directions:

First, get the components of the slaw ready. Simply shred up 2 cups of green cabbage and set aside in a large bowl. Next, shell some unsalted peanuts (or salted if that's all you have) and chop them up until you have a 1/2 cup or so. A little less would be fine, too. Then, make the sauce for the slaw. This involves whisking together 2 tbsp Tamari soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp dark sesame oil, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp honey, and 3 tbsp peanut butter. Mix together until you have a creamy sauce. Now keep all of these three components separate until you're ready to serve the slaw. That way, the slaw will be very crisp in texture. So go ahead and set that stuff aside for now.

Next, slice up a cucumber on the bias to create lovely cucumber chips to be served with the appetizer. Also, slice a scallion on the bias to create a lovely garnish.

Now, it's time to get the fish ready. Just roll all sides of the fish in toasted sesame seeds. Yep, that's it. That's the extent of it. Believe me, you need not do anything else.

Next, sear the fish on a hot cast iron griddle or pan, only about a minute on each side. Keep in mind, this fish can be eaten raw, so you're only giving it color on each side, you're not trying to cook it. You want to make sure that you have that beautiful red inside when you cut it into strips.

Set the fish aside on a plate to cool.

Now, it's time to get the naan chips ready. All you do is brush both sides of a couple pieces of naan bread with some olive oil, then throw it on the same hot griddle you just get done searing your fish on. Cook until blistered and brown on each side, which only takes about a minute a side. Then remove from the griddle onto a cutting board. Cut the toasted naan into triangles with a pizza cutter. The naan chips will be toasty on the outside and soft on the inside.

Next, take your seared piece of tuna and cut it in half lengthwise. Then slice each half into 1/4 inch slices, revealing the pretty red center. The very last step is to mix together 2 cups of the shredded cabbage with a 1/2 cup of the slaw sauce.

Now, to plate, simply mound a bit of the slaw onto the plate and sprinkle it with some of the chopped nuts. Next, take about 5 or 6 slices of the seared tuna and lean them against the slaw. Sprinkle the sliced scallions over the tuna and slaw. Lay some naan triangles onto the plate, along with a couple slices of cucumber and a small dollop of wasabi sauce.

8 comments:

  1. i love this
    tuna tartare is always a fave and this is a great spin on something i would be so happy eating...

    great recipe
    thanks!

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  2. That's a lovely dish. perfect for a nice dinner party appetizer

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  3. Oh why am I so hungry??!!! hehe

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  4. I really like the slaw idea with the tataki. I think scallion pancakes instead of the naan would be awesome too!

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  5. How many people does your recipe serve?

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  6. Marisa - I'd say about two people. The serving in the picture is for one person. You could serve it with maybe a simple noodle dish on the side and you would be good to go for a whole meal.

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  7. I appreciate your presentation and am excited to serve this tomorrow to special guests!

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  8. my husband cant do peanuts, so i substituted cashew butter and chopped cashews. It was fabulous! love it!

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