Ahi Tuna Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

in Recipes

Eating raw fish may make you a bit squeamish. That’s ok; in this recipe we’re only eating semi-raw fish.

All better!

If you would have told me ten years ago that I would be happily eating raw fish every now and then, I would have thought you were insane. Nowadays, I get a mad craving for fresh sushi and sashimi from time to time. This is a bit of an issue, as I live in Arizona and the closest ocean is a few thousand miles away. But I don’t despair. I trust a few local places that sell wild, sustainably caught fish from reputable sources. That, and my younger brother worked as a sushi chef at a gourmet grocery store for a while. Coolest job ever? Along with trading in his schoolbooks for Japanese knives, he acquired a supreme knowledge of all things raw fish. This meant I was lucky enough to sample his masterful creations and enjoy portions of delicious fish that came with one very high market price.

When he got a new job, sans fish and knives, my sushi source was dashed. I’d have to make my own raw fish salads and sushi from there on. Oh woe is me.

Ahi tuna, also called yellowfin tuna, is a delicious fish that can be eaten raw or cooked. It will load you up on B Vitamins vital for digestion, neurological functions, and the development of red blood cells. I prefer tuna seared on the outside and raw on the inside. Coating the tuna in a thick spice rub gives the fish a nice crust to complement the buttery and soft center. Once seared, slicing it and throwing the fish on an Asian inspired salad makes for a fast, fresh, and delicious meal.

I should mention that ahi tuna contains a small level of mercury and it should only be eaten in moderation. Ahi tuna is a sustainable fish according to Seafood Watch, one of the most dependable sources for ocean overfishing run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Try to buy ahi caught with troll or pole methods, which produces little or no bycatch – when other animals are accidentally caught during fishing.

If you’ve never tried raw fish before, give this one a go. Tell me how you like it?

Ahi Tuna Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Makes 4 large servings

Sesame Ginger Dressing

¼ cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 clove garlic
1’’ piece of ginger
2 T toasted sesame oil
1 T honey
1 T tamari or soy sauce
1 T sesame seeds
1 T white miso paste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until combined. Store in the refrigerator or use immediately.

Green bits

In a large bowl, add the following:

8 big handfuls of mixed greens – spinach, chard, and romaine are great.
1 large cucumber, chopped
½ cup broccoli florets, raw or steamed
½ small head of purple cabbage, sliced
1 cup carrots, sliced
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
2 avocados, sliced
1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup mung bean sprouts or radish sprouts (optional)

Set aside and toss with dressing when ready.

Ahi Tuna

32 ounces of fresh ahi tuna

2 T toasted sesame oil
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp grated coarse black peppers
2 T sesame seeds

Combine all spice ingredients. Rub both sides of ahi tuna with spice rub mixture. Heat a nonstick skillet or cast iron pan over high heat for 5-10 minutes until very hot. Sear the tuna for 1-2 minutes per side; the outside should be cooked while the inside remains raw. Yum!

With a sharp knife, carefully slice tuna against the grain at a 25 degree angle, creating slices 1/8 to ¼ inch thick. Place slices over greens and enjoy!

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