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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Spicy Ahi Tuna Salad

This is my second fish dish this week. I'm still motivated by beach photos to make light, healthy, tasty fare that doesn't taste like the "diet plate". This is super fast to throw together on a work night, and looks pretty, too. And, wierd as it sounds, I've had it for breakfast the past two days.

Let's make this thing.
Start with some pre-washed Arugula. Or arugula blend. Or blend your own. You must have SOME arugula. (It's SPICY tuna salad?)

Put it in a serving bowl/platter and add a couple big handfuls of pre-washed baby spinach to the mix. Sprinkle on a little Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Now, take a big carrot, wash and peel it. Then, using your peeler, peel off some thin shavings of carrot onto your greens.

Thinly slice about 1/4 of a red onion, and put them on the salad.

Now, take a sweet bell pepper, red, orange, or yellow. I used an orange one, because it's what I had, but would have preferred a red one to add nice color contrast.

Peel the pepper with your peeler. Then cut it in half.

Cut out the seeds and white pith. It's bitter. Then, slice it up, thinly. Add it to your salad.

Last, add the avocado. Slice it in half.

Get the pit out by driving the sharp side of a knife into the pit, then twist. The pit will come right out.

Whack the knife, pit on, on the side of your trash can. Pit off.
Score a diamond pattern into the avocado with your knife, then scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
Let's make the dressing.
Start with what I believe to be the greatest culinary invention of the 21st century: Wasabi in a tube.

Put about 1 Tbls into a mixing bowl. More if you like it hot.

Now, add about 2 Tbls honey.

Next, add 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce. I got this bottle of Chinese yumminess from my friend, Kim, who brought it back from China.

Now, add some rice vinegar, about 1/4 cup.

Whisk it together. Add 2 Tbls Sesame oil.

Get some chopped garlic. I cheated and went with the jar. It's a work night, remember?

Put some extra light olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Heat it on Medium heat.

Add about 1 Tbls finely minced garlic to the skillet.

Cook it about 1-2 minutes, until it is slightly brown and fragrant. We're just getting this garlic a little more mellow.

Put it in the bowl with the dressing. Whisk it up. Then whisk in  about 1/2 cup vegetable oil, in a slow stream, creating an emulsion.
Grab some cilantro.

Chop up about 1 Tbls, or more, depending upon how much cilantro you like.

Then throw it in the dressing, and whisk it up.

Season with a pinch of Kosher salt and a few cracks of fresh ground pepper. Taste and re-season as necessary. Not sweet enough? Add more honey. Not hot enough? Add more Wasabi. Not salty enough? Add more soy, or salt.
Dressing done.

Let's finish this salad. Into your cast iron skillet, add 1-2 Tbls extra light olive oil. Crank up the heat to high. We need to use an oil with a high smoking point so it won't burn.
Now, take 2 Ahi tuna steaks. Dry them off with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

Put them in your smoking hot skillet for 1 minute. Watch the time.

Flip them over.

Cook 1 minute on the other side and remove to a cutting board.

Let these babies rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Slice thinly and place on top of the salad. Dress the salad on the plates so any leftover salad can be saved without getting slimy.


  1. Wow that looks good, I am going to have to try this. I still use your method of making a steak in a cast iron pan regularly. Thank you.

  2. Thank you, Oregon! You can also grill the tuna on a hot grill, if you like. Enjoy!



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About Me

Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
I'm a home cook that can put some good tasting food on the table, most of the time. My family knows dinner is ready when the fire alarm goes off.