Thursday, May 14, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Tuna Salad a.k.a. Hawaiian Ahi Poke and Avocados



Aloha bloggers! This week’s Barefoot recipe was found online at the Food Network and was chosen by Kate of Warm Olives and Cool Cocktails. As my Northern counterpart will appreciate, we Californians eat a lot of Tuna. Whether raw, seared or beer-battered I would guess that this wonderful protein is consumed in mass quantities in our sunshine state. My all-time favorite way to devour this delicious fish is Poke style (pronounces POH-kay). And, I was so pleased to get my hands on this recipe.

In case you haven't tried it, Poke is a Hawaiian dish consisting of well-seasoned bite size pieces of raw fish. (I happen to prefer the Ahi slightly seared) Typically, Poke is served as an appetizer, which helps the pocketbook when buying Sushi grade Tuna –a “must have” for this dish. The most delicious Poke appetizer I’ve ever tried included diced Avocados and a Ponzu-style vinaigrette. At first glance, this online recipe appeared to contain all of these elements.

That is, until I followed the recipe....

Was it just me or did someone at the Food Network drop the ball on this one? The proportions in this recipe were way off the mark! My vinaigrette was so sour that it felt like I singed the first layer of my tongue while tasting. I found the quantity (six tablespoons) of lime-juice to olive oil and soy sauce totally disproportionate. I’m also thinking that the lime zest is unnecessary. I ended up salvaging my first attempt by adding more olive oil, low sodium soy sauce and ginger. It worked! I was able to control the acidity and get a fabulous result. Also, I avoided the salt because (as from our prior experience with the Chinese Chicken salad dressing) the soy sauce (even the low sodium version) contains enough salt for this vinaigrette.

Ahi Poke with Avocados
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Tuna Salad

1 lb of Sushi Grade Ahi Tuna
1-2 diced Hass Avocado
1/3 cup of minced scallions
1/4 cup of minced red onions

Vinaigrette:
3 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of soy sauce
3 tbsp of fresh lime juice
zest of one lime (optional)
1/2 tsp. of fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp of wasabi paste (to preference)
1-2 tbsp of fresh ginger

Optional toppings:
Sesame seeds
Fresh herbs i.e. baby cilantro

Brush tuna with olive oil (both sides) and sprinke with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Sear on grill for 2 minutes or less each side. Cut tuna into bite size pieces.

In a large bowl, place avocado, scallions, red onions and tuna.

In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce, wasabi, pepper, ginger, (and optional lime zest). May need to adjust for taste.

Lightly pour vinaigrette over tuna, avocado and onions. Add sesame seeds and fresh baby cilantro.

4 comments:

Elizabeth said...

ginger...interesting addition...I am making a mental note!

TNF said...

i could see how ginger would work. i definitely tested the dressing as i went along. I'm intrigued by "poke"!

Meryl said...

You're exactly right, this was way too limey!

Me! said...

mine was really limey too but that's operator error. i halved the recipe with everything except the limes. then suddenly i realized i forgot to halve the limes after i'd already juiced 2. oh well. i like acid so i was ok with it.