DEAR SOS: My husband and I recently ordered the best seared Ahi tuna appetizer at Nick's Fishmarket in Kea Lani Hotel on Maui. Do you think it would be possible for the chef to share the recipe?
DEAR KARIN: This recipe has more parts than a Tinker Toy. Have fun putting it together. Assembling the dish will be much easier if you prepare some of the parts well ahead of time. Another nice thing about the recipe is that you can use the spices and oils for other grilled fish or meat dishes.
Nick's Fishmarket Black and Blue Ahi
Active Work Time and Total Preparation Time: 1 hour plus 12 hours chilling
1/4 cup paprika
1 1/4 tablespoons coarse salt
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 tablespoons black pepper
1 1/4 tablespoons ground oregano
1 1/4 tablespoons ground thyme
1/4 cup powdered sugar
* Combine paprika, salt, garlic and onion powders, cayenne pepper, black pepper, oregano, thyme and sugar; mix well. Store in airtight container. Do not refrigerate. Makes 2/3 cup.
BLACK AND BLUE AHI SAUCE
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
* Place soy sauce, Dijon mustard and dry mustard in bowl or blender and combine until smooth. Refrigerate until using. Discard after 48 hours. Makes about 2/3 cup.
1 bunch cilantro, stemmed
1 cup olive oil
* Blanch cilantro leaves in boiling water until bright green, about 30 seconds. Dry leaves and blend with oil on high speed until as smooth as possible, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to plastic container and refrigerate 12 hours. When ready to use, strain oil through cheesecloth to remove solids. Makes about 1/2 cup.
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chile sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 pound Japanese cucumber, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/2 red onion, cut into thin strips
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and sliced lengthwise into thin strips
* Whisk together soy sauce, chile sauce, sesame oil and water in bowl. Add cucumber, onion and tomatoes and toss to coat well. Marinate in refrigerator no more than 1 hour. Remove vegetables from marinade and reserve for use on plate. (Marinade may be used for up to 1 week. Any remaining salad should be discarded after 48 hours.) Makes 6 servings of salad; 2/3 cup marinade.
16 ounces ahi tuna filet, cut in 3x1/2-inch slices
Butter or oil, for greasing
6 radicchio leaves
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
3 avocados, seeded, halved and sliced
* Dust ahi strips with as much Cajun Spice as needed to coat strips well, about 2 tablespoons. (Store remaining spice for later use). Sear ahi in lightly greased skillet or wok over medium-high heat, in batches, about 1 minute per side.
* For each of 6 salads, arrange radicchio leaf on plate. Place mound of Cucumber Salad in center of each radicchio leaf. Evenly distribute ahi rolls on each salad. Drizzle each with 1 1/2 tablespoons Black and Blue Ahi Sauce. Sprinkle each salad lightly with 1 teaspoon Cilantro Oil, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and some sesame seeds. Garnish each plate with 1/2 avocado, slices spread to form a fan.
6 salad servings. Each serving: 467 calories; 1,516 mg sodium; 20 mg cholesterol; 37 grams fat; 16 grams carbohydrates; 18 grams protein; 2.48 grams fiber.