Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WDW - Seared Ahi Salad

We had this delicious salad in Maui a few years ago, and since then I've enjoyed recreating a variation of it at home.   If you love raw or seared ahi tuna as much as we do, you will love this salad!  Rich and I are head over heels in love with this salad.

I like to start with a butter lettuce or red leaf.   Then I add a variety of ingredients -  this time it was thin cucumber slices, mango chunks, strawberry slices, chives, and avocado.   I usually add candied walnuts, but I was out.   Fresh cilantro is really nice if you have some, and I like to use red bell peppers in place of the cucumbers sometimes.

The dressing is basically a variation of the Islands China Coast dressing recipe.  It is so amazingly tasty, but the bummer about it is that it contains mayo (soybean oil, blech).  I would love to find a way to make it without the mayo - so far I haven't been pleased with alternatives like yogurt or sour cream.  The original recipe calls for garlic powder but I kick it up with fresh garlic instead and fresh ginger which really makes it special.  Add a little wasabi powder or cayenne  if you like that kind of thing (I do).

The ahi couldn't be simpler.  I prefer to buy mine frozen from Sprouts.  It's very reasonable in price, wild caught, and always tastes very fresh.  All I do is rub the thawed fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.   You can also rub a jerk seasoning on the fish - that is how it was made in Hawaii and was awesome. I use a very hot cast iron skillet and just plop the fish in for a quick sear on each side, 1-2 minutes tops.  I just let the fish cool a bit, then slice or chunk with a very sharp knife.

Now that it's summer, I know we'll be eating main dish salads often.  This one will be in regular rotation!

Seared Ahi Salad
serves 2

6 cups salad greens
1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced (or red bell pepper)
2 tbsp. chopped scallions or chives (thin red onion slices work well too)
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro (optional)
1 mango, cubed
4 large strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup candied walnuts or pecans
1 avocado, cubed
1 piece ahi tuna (about 1/2 lb.), seasoned with olive oil, salt and 
   pepper, seared 1-2 minutes in a hot pan, and sliced

Islands China Coast Salad Dressing (my variation)

1/3 cup Best Foods mayonnaise
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced

1-2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
a pinch of wasabi powder or cayenne pepper (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a small food processor. 

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Aleksandra Hoffman said...

sounds sooooo good! cant wait to try it! have you tried using creme fraiche?? Kind of like sour cream without the sour part and its more creamy. One of my favorites!

the e-wife, Karen said...

Ooh... great idea Sasha!! Thanks for posting, I will try that.