Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ahi Tuna Poke Salad

After a long weekend filled with social gatherings, catching up with old friends and the beginnings of holiday shopping, I wanted an easy dinner option last night.  Despite my love of cooking, I do have days where the idea of turning on the stove is just off putting.  Also, taking climate into account, with the onset of winter in New England, my window for chilled dinner options is a mere crack from closing until spring.  I figured I'd make the most of it while I could.

On Sunday, I had picked up a block of Saku tuna while shopping at H Mart.  (Sidebar, if you have an H Mart near you and haven't gone, you should correct that immediately.  They're the largest Asian market company in the US and their meat, fish and produce departments are phenomenal.)  If you've ever had seared tuna that came in a perfect rectangle while dining out, that's Saku.  It's a great product  and incredibly versatile when eaten fresh.  The standard, go-to preparation in our house is to crust it in black pepper and toasted sesame seeds and just lightly sear each side, but I wanted to do something a little different.  Instead, I opted for a Hawaiian-inspired poke which was full of flavor and had fantastic texture.  It gave us a light, protein-filled dinner option that was ready in about 15 minutes - no stove required.  The other bonus is, poke is a dish you can totally "dress up" if you're having company.  Serve it in a martini glass with a few strips of nori on top and you're sure to impress.

Saku Block Tuna Poke

1 lb block of fresh Saku tuna
3 tablespoons coconut aminos (if you're not eating paleo, you can substitute soy sauce or tamari)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon pineapple juice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon mirin or rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5-6 grinds of freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds
3 teaspoons chopped green onion

- Cube tuna with a sharp knife into 1 cm blocks
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together all liquid ingredients, salt and pepper
- Add cubed tuna and gently stir in sesame seeds and green onion
- Allow to marinate for 10-15 minutes or until tuna begins to darken in color from the marinade
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for a maximum of 2 days

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