We have always been fans of sashimi, crudo, or raw fish recipes. And we love exploring different applications for a crudo-style seafood dish. In this case, a beautiful slightly seared ahi tuna steak encrusted with sesame seeds over a vibrant salad. Enjoying seared ahi as a meal on its own is great as well, especially with a nice dipping sauce (see this recipe for Seared Ahi with Spicy Dipping Sauce). But, this Sesame Crusted Ahi Salad with Cilantro Ginger Lime Dressing makes a nice tasty appetizer or dinner salad when you want something fresh, healthy and delicious!
Cilantro Ginger Lime Salad Dressing
The Cilantro Ginger Lime dressing is honestly great for any salad, but it especially works with this sesame crusted tuna. Not only that, it is also so easy to make!
One ingredient that we use is a minced ginger paste. You can of course mince your own ginger, but we love this jar of Minced Ginger for this recipe instead. There are many minced ginger and ginger paste products out there that are easily accessible. So there really is no need to mess with fresh ginger if you don't want to. If you are near an Asian grocery store, you will be able to find many different choices like the one we linked above. Everything else in this dressing is very easy to find, so making this will be a breeze.
Finding Good Ahi Tuna
For this recipe you want to find a good quality piece of ahi tuna. Because you are essentially eating raw fish, you want to be very confident that the fish you are buying is safe to eat. Try to find "sushi grade" or "sashimi grade" products. There is no actual federal grading agency for this, so proceed with caution and buy your fish from a source that you trust.
We like the brand Hawaiian Select, which is packaged and stored as a frozen Ahi Tuna Saku Block. We find it here in Houston at Central Market. If you are buying straight from your fish monger, ask how fresh the fish is and try to avoid pre-cut pieces that have been sitting in the open air ice boxes to limit the amount of bacteria on the surface of the fish.
Searing the Sesame Crusted Ahi
Searing the fish in this application is a little tricky, but if you don’t accidentally remove the sesame seed crust from the fish, everything will be fine. A fish spatula comes in handy when flipping the tuna from one side to the other.
We like the tuna cooked rare like this so it is lightly seared and raw in the middle. If you prefer a deeper sear, be sure to lower the heat just a bit and cook the fish longer so the sesame seeds do not burn.
The other small technique that seems a little insignificant, but is not, is the use of just a little soy sauce to marinate the fish. We didn’t want a soy-based dressing, but soy sauce works perfectly for seasoning the tuna in a subtle way giving it a little something special.
Building You Salad
As far as the salad, we prefer to add what is listed in the ingredients section, but there really are no rules when it comes to making your own salad. Use what you like and what you have and let the fish be the superstar here.
When building your salad, make sure you toss everything in some of the dressing so that it is coated, then lay your sliced ahi on top. We like to serve the salad with additional dressing on the side in case your guests want a bit more drizzled over the top like we do!
We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Sesame Crusted Ahi Salad with Cilantro Ginger Lime Dressing! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
Looking for more recipes like this? Check these out:
- Tiradito de Pescado: Peruvian Salmon with Spicy Pepper Sauce
- Seared Ahi with Spicy Dipping Sauce
- Yellowtail with Lemon Caper Cream Sauce and Spinach Orzo
- Salmon with Mango Lime Cream Sauce
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