Seared Ahi with Lilikoi-Shrimp Salsa
Roy Yamaguchi. From "Roy's Fish and Seafood: Recipes from the Pacific Rim", Ten Speed Press. Used by permission.
It seems a shame that the bright, vibrant, carmine color of raw tuna turns an indifferent brownish-white when it's cooked, but I like to make up for this by serving tuna with colorful accompaniments whenever possible. This delicious salsa is a good example. Lilikoi is the Hawaiian word for the highly aromatic tropical passion fruit, whose flavor really sets the palate tingling. Here in the islands, the yellow-skinned passion fruit is more common than the purple variety, but you can us either one to equally good effect in this recipe. Serve this dish with rice if desired.
1 ripe passion fruit, halved
4 ozs extra-large shrimp (about 4), peeled, deveined and diced
1/2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup minced Maui or other sweet white onion
1 large Roma tomato, peeled, seeded and finely diced
2 Tbs finely sliced scallions including green part
1 Tbs minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp Tabasco
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Scoop the seeds and pulp from the passion fruit with a spoon and press it through a fine-mesh sieve. Reserve the juice (about 1 tablespoon) and discard the seeds and pulp. Put the shrimp in a small bowl and toss with the olive oil to coat. Set a dry stainless steel saute pan over high heat and when hot, add the shrimp. Sear, turning often, until evenly pink, about 1 minute. Transfer to a non-reactive bowl and add the reserved passion fruit juice, onion, tomato, scallions, cilantro, Tabasco and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to combine. Cover and refrigerate.
4 (7 ounce) ahi tuna steaks
3 Tbs peanut oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the ahi on a plate, coat with the peanut oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set a dry cast-iron skillet over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes and when hot, sear the ahi for about 30 seconds on each side for rare, or about 1 1/2 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
To serve: Transfer the ahi to serving plate and spoon the salsa over the tuna, letting the juices from the salsa run onto the plates.
Yield: 4 main course servings
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