Going to sushi only feels right when you can sit at the sushi bar. Focused Japanese men slicing and rolling, the occasional yelp and ching ching of their Sapporos. My Dad eats the sweet shrimp with the eyes and crunchy tentacles poking around, so gross. He tries to pick the strangest items and offer wagers to who wants to try them. Uni with quail egg, anyone? I've never left sushi a richer woman than when I walked in. Despite the games he likes to play, we both appreciate a good sashimi salad. We’ve frequented many sushi bars in town, assessing the proportions of lettuce or salty soy sauce dressing. Though I’m not one to digress from critiquing the food, sushi with my Dad is where we have our heart to heart talks. If he can tell my sister or I need a good talk, a little advice or direction, he initiates a sushi date. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I like it so much, it has represented a number of great conversations with my pappy.
This is a white girls attempt at a seared ahi salad; all sorts of flavors, lots of crunchy veggies and big chunks of fresh fish. My proportions are nothing like that of a sushi restaurant, as I kind of have a thing for vegetables. Ahi (aka yellowfin) Tuna is the least oily of the family, so it does well with a quick sear to prevent from drying out. Try to seek out a place you trust for fish, especially when eating it on the raw side such as this salad.
ASIAN AHI SALAD // Serves 4
1 Pound Sushi Grade Ahi Tuna
1 Head Napa/Savoy Cabbage (About 5 Cups Sliced)
1 Red Bell Pepper, Thin Slivers
1 Cup Shredded Carrots
¾ Cup Shelled Edamame
½ Cup Green Onion
1 Avocado, medium diced
2 tsp. Tamari
1 Lime, Zest and Juice (approx 3 tbsp.)
1 tbsp. Rice Vinegar
2 tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 tbsp. Agave Nectar (or sugar)
½ tsp. Hot Sauce of Choice
1 tsp. Wasabi (or wasabi powder)
1 tbsp. Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
1. Heat grill to medium high heat. Coat both sides of the ahi with a bit of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Sear on a hot grill pan or grill for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side. You don’t want to cook it all the way through. Remove to cool and place in the fridge while preparing the rest of the salad.
2. For the dressing, add the tamari, rice vinegar, lime zest and juice, agave, hot sauce and wasabi to a bowl. Give it a whisk. Add the sesame oil, sesame seeds, and pepper. Whisk and taste. Add what your tastes prefer, be it heat, salt etc.
3. Chop the cabbage as thin as possible. Add the cabbage, carrot, bell pepper, edamame, and green onion to the large bowl. Toss with about 3 tbsp. of the dressing.
4. Cut the ahi into 1’’ chunks. Add the avocado and ahi to the remaining dressing and toss to coat. Let it sit a minute, and place a generous scoop of the ahi avocado atop the slaw.