The three species of tuna that Americans enjoy eating the most are Albacore, Yellowfin (the Hawaiian word is Ahi) and Bluefin (the Japanese word is Maguro). Albacore is the lightest in flavor and texture, with large meaty flakes. The ubiquitous canned version is called “white tuna” but doesn’t come close to the flavor of freshly caught, which is exquisite. The word Ahi has become popular among restaurants because of this feast, Seared Ahi. Seared but left pink in the middle of the filet, it is the best of both worlds, crispy and explosively tasty and umami on the outside, and lush and sashimi on the inside. Bluefin is wildly popular around the world as sushi, called Maguro on the menu, and is the richest, most dense, and most expensive.
The Ahi pictured here was brutally strong, we battled for an hour and forty minutes. Exhausting but exhilarating.
1 to 1 1/2 pound Ahi tuna, crosscut into equal 3/4 to 1 inch thick filets, about a 1/4 pound each, lightly salted
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
4 to 6 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin (or 1 teaspoon sugar) and a pinch for the salad dressing
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons coconut oil AND 1 tablespoon of Canola oil for salad dressing
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon wasabi paste
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 bowls of salad
salt and pepper to taste (we add very little salt because of the soy sauce)
Combine the mirin (or sugar), tamari (or soy sauce), and ginger in a shallow pan or bowl and marinate the fish for 20 minutes, being sure the marinade is covering the entire filets.
To prepare the salad dressing, whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, a dash of soy and 1 tablespoon of canola oil, with a pinch of salt. Toss with the salad greens right before serving the ahi. Mix together the mayonnaise and wasabi and set aside.
In a 12 inch cast iron skillet, add 2 tablespoon of coconut oil and heat till almost smoking. If you have a venting system, this would be a good time to turn it on, this will smoke. We like to cook this meal outside on a Coleman stove or the burner on our BBQ.
Making sure the ginger is sticking to the filets, sear each side for about 1 minute.
After all the fish has been seared, pour the remaining marinade into the hot cast iron skillet and it should sizzle and cook down very quickly into a nice thick sauce. Pour over fish and then sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds.
Clearly we really like sesame seeds!.
Serve on a bed of the Asian vinaigrette salad with steamed white or brown rice. Add a dollop of wasabi mayonnaise. An iconic feast, fresh from the ocean.
This feast included humongous mussels foraged along the rugged coastal rocks of Central California.