My mother and I got to cook Christmas dinner together this year. She made a very delicious lamb roast and I made a salad from all of the amazing locally grown vegetables that you can buy on Maui in the dead of winter (watercress, kohlrabi, watermelon radishes). The salad was spicy, crunchy and full of vegetable umami. It was like crunchy wasabi and it made me crave sashimi. We have made the salad twice since Christmas, once with seared Ahi Tuna, and once with the freshest fish that was available at the Farmer’s market (we are not sure what it was because it had no label). To balance out all of the crunch and spice I also added creamy avocados that my mother’s landlords grow in the yard.
The fish is crusted with furikaki, a delicious mix of sesame, nori and salt. It is an amazing seasoning to have on hand, but be sure to look for a brand that has no MSG (unless you are one of the lucky one’s who is not bothered by it).
Poha berries are also called cape cod gooseberries or ground cherries. They are actually not usually in season on Maui at this time of year, but there was some sort odd miracle crop in Kula this year. They are good in this salad if you can get them, but not crucial.
FURIKAKI CRUSTED SEARED AHI WITH A SALAD OF SPICY VEGETABLES
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sugar or honey
- salt to taste
- A big bunch of watercress, tender branches and leaves snipped and woody stalks discarded
- 6 small watermelon radishes, quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced
- 1 medium kohlrabi, julienned
- 2 avocados, diced
- 1 red, yellow or orange sweet bell pepper, julienned
- A large handful of poha berries, halved (optional)
- 1 pound fresh ahi tuna steak
- 1/4 cup furikaki (or sesame seeds, salt and nori flakes)
- a bit of mild oil for frying
- In a small dish, whisk together the oil, vinegar and sweetener. Season to taste with salt and set aside.
- Layer the watercress into the bottom of four serving dishes. Scatter the radishes, kohlrabi, avocado, peppers and poha berries (if using) on top of the watercress. drizzle the salads with the dressing.
- Pour the furikaki onto a plate and spread it out. Put the fish steak on top and press down to crust the fish in the furikaki. Repeat on the other sided until the fish is totally coated.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet until very hot, but not smoking. Fry the fish just 2 minutes on each side. The furikaki crust should turn a bit golden. Slice the fish against the grain. It should still be raw in the center.
- Serve the sliced fish on top of the vegetables.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE…