Strips of seared tuna atop a green salad tossed in an Asian vinaigrette.
One of the things I love most about Hawaii is the easy access to good seafood at reasonable prices. I like to have fresh fish at least once a week and ahi, or yellow fin tuna, is my favorite. There are many great sushi places all over the islands and almost every restaurant has seared ahi or ahi sashimi on the menu. It can get very expensive with sashimi grade ahi being over $20 a pound. However, I have found that most of the ahi sold in Chinatown is great for a quick sear. Usually I can find a good cut for $10 or less a pound and 1/2 a pound, with veggies and rice, is plenty for two people.
When I choose ahi I like to find a slab that is relatively narrow so that when the butcher cuts off 1/2 a pound it is pretty thick. Sometimes I get a full pound so I get the thickness I want. I prefer to have my tuna steak at least an inch thick. Then I season it and sear each side quickly in a very hot pan. If the tuna is too thin it will cook all the way through and what I like is a very red, almost raw center. If you are unsure about the quality of your tuna this might not be the best idea but I've never had a problem.
Seared Ahi Salad
1/2 pound ahi
2 tsp spicy steak seasoning
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
wasabi soy spiced almonds
2 Tbsp olive oil
dash sesame oil
1-2 tsp soy sauce
1-2 tsp rice vinegar
Mix the olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey and vinegar in the bottom of a salad bowl. Stir and mix with a fork or whisk until somewhat emulsified. Add the lettuce (enough for 2 salads, about 4 hand fulls) and toss until thoroughly coated with the vinaigrette.
Place the dressed lettuce in individual salad bowls or plates and top with carrots, green onions, and almonds (the amount can be adjusted for individual tastes I use about a handful of everything).
Lastly top the salad with slices of seared ahi:
Season both sides of the raw ahi steak. I usually mix the sesame seeds and steak seasoning together then pour onto a clean plate and press the ahi into the spices.
Heat a thick skillet, I use cast iron, over medium high to high heat until very hot. Pour in or spray on a little oil and then add your steak. The cook time depends on how rare you like it and how thick your steak is but it only needs about 1 minute or less per side.
Remove from pan and let rest for a few minutes before slicing. Serve with a side of rice, soy sauce and spicy mayo (mayo mixed with sriracha). Enjoy.