Seared Ahi, such a fine treat, usually reserved for Asian restaurants, but why? It really doesn’t take a lot of work, or ingredients to make this delicious appetizer at home, and add in your own flare.
I have lost count of the number of these I’ve cooked in my past restaurant jobs, but it’s still a personal favorite, especially when Ahi goes on sale. It’s also a great dish to pull out if you’re really trying to impress a guest, or just want to liven up the humdrum weeknight dinner. In full disclosure, in the restauraunts, I was using a prepackaged spice blend, that I’ve not quite recreated, and also haven’t really seen for sale, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get close, or even better, doing it at home.
- Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp course sea salt
- 1 tsp course ground pepper
- pinch of ground ginger
- pinch of brown sugar
- 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice, if you have it
- Get a cast iron pan on heat, with enough sesame oil to cover the bottom, it really depends on the pan how much you will need.
- Dry the tuna on papertowels, while drying, combine spices on a plate.
- Coat the tuna with the spice mix, however is easiest for you. I put in down and just roll it around on the spices.
- When properly coated, begin to sear. Depending on thickness, about 60 seconds a side.
- Make sure you sear top, bottom, and as many edges as you can.
- Slice with a SHARP knife. My knife wasn’t as sharp as I thought, resulting in thicker slices and rough edges. You’re looking for 1/4 inch thick or thinner, preferably thinner.
- Serve over greens, or on its own. I like to dip in Thai Chili Sauce, in the restaraunt we served with Ponzu, but I personally dislike the taste. Teriyaki is good, but so is just straight.
- If your oil looks like this image, you messed up. This was from my first home attempt, it was way over salted, and way over cooked.
Old Bay may sound like a good idea as a spice to add. It’s not. Way to much salt for the dish to come out right.
- I’ve used lemonpepper in my spice mix with mixed results, some people like it, some don’t.