Sesame crusted Ahi

March 7th 2015

How much of life is experienced as "happy accidents"? I know from personal experience "The Plan" rarely turns out as per what my mind has imagined, and mostly causes disappointment. But sometimes on a rare occasion, in a magically, mediocre place, or situation, I have an experience that takes away the jaded, ambivalence that usually robs me of joy. Recently, I have had a few of these and it is always bittersweet, which isn't a bad feeling, one of my favorites actually because it helps me put things into perspective. What does this have to do with tuna? Well everything and nothing really, but I was at the store the other shopping for something totally unrelated, I found some beautiful wild caught, ahi, the piece I chose was about 1.5# and about two inches thick, and when I saw it I knew what its destiny would be....sesame crusted ahi. This dish in no way is revolutionary....cutting edge....or original, its just really damn good.
You will need:
1-1.5 lbs of Ahi tuna
1/2 cup sesame seeds, I used half white and half black
Salt, to taste, use a nice sea salt for this.
4 tbsp high temp oil, I used walnut.
2 green onions, thinly sliced.
Dipping sauce of choice, I used ponzu, but soy and wasabi are great or teriyaki or just a bit of hot mustard, or none.
Heat your oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Place sesame seeds on a plate, salt fish liberally, press fish into seeds until the fillet(s) are fully covered. Place fish in hot oil, now cooking time will depend on how thick your fish is, I did mine in one huge piece, so I cooked it on both top and bottom 5 minutes each and then seared each side, and mine was rare, don't cook it more than mid-rare or you should honestly just buy a can of "chicken of the sea". If you have small fillets it can be as short as one minute per side! There is a lovely built in indicator with ahi, if you look at the sides it will show you how much of the fish is pink, the area above and below will be opaque. Let the fish rest five minutes or so.....then slice thinly, against the grain. Sprinkle with green onions, dip in sauce of choice. This is great over short grain rice or in a salad, or even tacos! Honestly, we ate it off the cutting board with our hands....cuz we classy.