EXECUTIVE CHEF JAY PAYNE suggests starting a dinner party with this richly flavored, Asian-inspired salad. Kona spice made by San Diego Coffee, Tea & Spice adds smoky citrus and coffee notes to ahi, which is deftly paired with light greens, tart onions and a sweet dressing flavored with yuzu (Asian citrus). Enjoy with a mojito, sauvignon blanc or sake.
Kona Seared Ahi Salad with
Honey Yuzu Vinaigrette and
Pickled Red Onion
4 cups tatsoi greens (available at Asian markets) or baby spinach
2 cups spring-mix lettuce
2 cups julienned Thai green papaya
(available already cut at Asian markets)
1 cup julienned seedless cucumber
1 cup enoki mushrooms
1 cup daikon radish sprouts
½ cup sliced pickled gobo or burdock root (available at Asian markets)
1 cup shelled edamame (soy beans)Vinaigrette (recipe follows; divided use)
2-3 pounds sushi-grade ahi
¾ cup Kona spice
6-8 tablespoons olive oil
Pickled red onion to top tuna
1.Combine all the greens and vegetables in a large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette, reserving some to drizzle on the ahi.
2.Coat the ahi with the Kona spice.
3.Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan until very hot. Add the ahi and sear on all sides, about 30 seconds per side. Take care not to overcook. Fish should be rare in the center.
4.To serve, divide the salad among chilled plates. Cut the tuna into 1/8-inch slices and divide among the plates. Top the tuna with pickled onions and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.
¾ cup yuzu vinegar
1 large shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
6-8 large fresh Thai basil leaves
10 fresh chives
¼ cup honey
2 ½ cups olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1.Put first five ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
2.With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pickled Red Onion
2 medium red onions, sliced thin and mixed with 1 ½ cups rice wine vinegar and ¾ cup sugar