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
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.