Seared Ahi Tuna Salad. I have been wanting to make this for so long and it finally happened. I am a big fan of fish. Cooked fish, raw fish, fish in sushi, fish on salads – you name it, I’m probably a fan. Except shellfish. That stuff kills me. Literally. I’m very allergic to it. But, if I could eat it, I’m sure I would be a big fan of it too.
The first time I ate shellfish was a terrible day. I used to be really picky when I was little (lol) so I had never tried any shellfish before I was like nine years old, until one day my family went to Red Lobster and my dad ordered a shrimp pasta dish. I didn’t even try the shrimp, but I tried a little bit of the sauce on my finger. Right after I ate JUST THE SAUCE I broke out in hives. Pretty terrible day, right? The next time I had shellfish I was 13 and was at an Asian restaurant up in Salt Lake with my family. We ordered egg rolls and I was sure to ask the waiter if there was any shellfish in them. He told me no, so I took a bite. IMMEDIATELY, I could feel my throat start to close. By this point in my life I had gotten an epipen in case I went into anaphylactic shock, but of course it was at home. An hour away. So my throat started to close and there wasn’t much we could do. A different waiter walked by and we asked him if there was any shrimp in the egg rolls. He told us there was, but it was a very small amount. Wow. Thanks. Good to know. Perfect timing. Luckily for me, because I had only taken one bite and since there was such a small amount of shrimp in the egg rolls, my throat didn’t completely close and we didn’t have to go to the ER. Don’t worry people, I did not die. Ever since then I’ve been extra careful, and its worked out okay so far.
Okay but back to TUNA. Cause I can eat as much of that as I want and not die.
This salad is so easy and fast! The tuna takes two minutes to cook, so the whole thing can literally be made in 15 minutes! And for reals, the tuna only takes two minutes. Don’t cook it any longer than that! Seared tuna needs that fat raw section in the middle and if its cooked too long becomes dry. So keep it to two minutes.
The first time I made this I was very skeptical about the sesame seeds and didn’t think they would stay on, but hallelujah they stuck to the tuna and didn’t look back. Initially they stick on really easily because the fish is wet and they stay on throughout cooking. They give the tuna such a nice finished look and are delicious.
One last thing. If you’re not a fan of raw fish, son’t completely disregard this recipe just yet. Just give it a try! Most people that don’t like raw fish are usually referring to sushi where the fish is completely raw. While this tuna is definitely mostly raw, the searing on the outside takes an edge off of the “raw” taste. It is delicious. Give it a try, and who knows, it may get you over the hurdle and make you a RAW FISH FAN.
Seared Ahi Tuna Salad
- 2 lbs ahi tuna
- salt and pepper
- black sesame seeds
- white sesame seeds
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups cooked black rice
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 1 avocado
- 1 mango
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon tahini (or almond butter)
- 1 lime zested + juiced
- 2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- 1 clove garlic grated or minced
First prepare the vinaigrette. Mix the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, tahini, lime juice and zest, ginger and garlic in a small bowl and mix well.
Thinly slice the mango and avocado and set aside.
Heat a large cast iron skillet on high. While it is heating up roll the ahi tuna in both black and white sesame seeds on all sides and dash with salt and pepper. Add sesame oil to the skillet and sear the tuna. Sear on top and bottom for about 2 minutes, depending on how rare you like your tuna. Immediately slice.
To assemble the salad put the rice down first, then top with the greens. Add the avocado and mango, then the tuna. Top with cilantro and the vinaigrette.
vinaigrette adapted from Half Baked Harvest