Chef Dean's Seared Peppered Ahi with Wasabi Aioli
Dean Louie, Executive Chef, Cafe Sauvage (Maui) and former resident of Guam and Saipan
For the Ahi
2 each center-cut fresh ahi tuna cut into 2x2x6-inch logs
1 Tbs fresh crushed black peppercorns
1 Tbs sugar (optional)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp crushed red chilies
For the Garnish
sliced green onions
Crush peppercorns with the back of a saute pan or pulse with a coffee grinder. Mix all 4 dry spices together. Heat a large saute pan to high heat. Lightly roll the ahi logs in the dry-spice mixture. When the pan is smoking add a little salad oil and sear the logs one side at a time. The finished ahi should be nicely brown on the outside and raw in the middle.
Cool in the refrigerator uncovered
1 Tbs wasabi mustard
1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
1/2 tsp finely minced garlic
juice of one lemon
Mix all of the ingredients together and keep cold
Slice the cooled ahi into thin even pieces and dip into the wasabi aioli or your own finadene sauce. Garnish with grated daikon and ginger if desired.
Everyone west of the Rockies has their own Seared Ahi preparation nowdays. This recipe was developed in Saipan when I was the Chef at PIC, took it with me to Guam and is now slated for Maui at the Cafe Sauvage.
Residents living in the Pacific have the benefit of exceptionally fresh fish available all year-round. This simple dish hits your taste buds with the sensations of spicy, sweet and salty - all combined with the rich smoothness of fresh ahi. It has the healthy benefit of almost zero fat and cholesterol without sacrificing great taste, and has been a hit ever since.
Cook the fish quickly just to caramelize the peppery crust and make sure there is plenty of ventilation in the kitchen when searing it!
Yield: 2 to 4 Servings
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