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Seared Ahi with a Hint of Heat


When we were planning his family birthday dinner, R requested seared ahi. When I asked if he wanted it as the main dish or an appetizer, he shrugged, "It doesn't matter. Just as long as I get seared ahi." Done.


I decided to marinate ahi in a spicy marinade, sear it, then serve it with rice noodle bowls. Delish. Remember: since you're eating it (mostly) raw, you need to purchase sashimi grade ahi and you should eat it the same day you buy it. We use gluten-free tamari since his best friend can't eat gluten. But use whatever you have in your cupboard.


Ingredients serves 4 as an entree and 6 to 8 as an appetizer
  • 2 lb sashimi grade ahi tuna
  • 1/3 C organic tamari or gluten-free soy sauce + more for drizzling
  • 2 T sesame oil + more for drizzling
  • 1/3 C canola oil, divided in half
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 pinch red pepper chili flakes
  • 1/3 C sake
  • black sesame seeds for garnish


Procedure
In medium mixing bowl, whisk together tamari, sesame oil, half of the canola oil. Stir in jalapeno slices, crushed garlic, chili flakes, and sake. Lay ahi steaks in the marinade for at least 5 minutes per side. Just before searing move the ahi to a plate and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Press down lightly to adhere them to the fish.

In a large, flat-bottom pan, heat the remainder of the canola oil. When the oil is hot, place the ahi, seeded side down. Sear and sprinkle the top with more black sesame seeds and flip. I usually cook it for 30 seconds per side, but you can do it for longer if you prefer it cooked more. We like ours pretty rare.


Remove the ahi to a cutting board. To serve, slice your seared tuna across the grain at a slight diagonal. Slice into 1/4" thick pieces by pressing down on the fish and dragging in one, fluid stroke. Don't saw!

Place the slices on your serving plate. Drizzle slices with more soy sauce and more sesame oil. Serve immediately.

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