In November we had the good fortune to go to Maui Hawaii for a few days. As always the fish in Hawaii is the star of every meal. At Mama’s Fish House they serve a salad similar to this, although I am sure I have forgotten some of the ingredients. When I find my notes from the trip I will do a second version. For now, my husband said this was the best salad he tasted in a long time. The salad features Sushi grade uncooked Ahi tuna combined with Napa cabbage and dressed with vinaigrette containing soy sauce and wasabi.
The flavors are clear, clean, and crisp, a welcome change from all the sweet, creamy, or rich stuff many of us have been consuming. Wonderful for a first course, or serve Maui Ahi Tuna Salad as a very low calorie entrée and begin January on the right foot.
½ of a large Napa cabbage
½ of an English hothouse cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers
1 cup of grape tomatoes
3 green onions, scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
½ of a large jalapeño chili, minced
1 tablespoon Japanese toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons low sodium sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons blue agave syrup or honey
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Wash and dry the Napa cabbage. Slice the cabbage across into very thin strips. Slice the horizontal strips in half. Slice the cucumber into thin half rounds or quarters. Place the cabbage and cucumbers in a salad bowl. Cut the washed and dried little tomatoes in half. If you can’t find grape tomatoes, use tear drop tomatoes or cherry.
Wash and dry the scallions, then cut off a good portion of the green ends and mince only the white ends and the freshest tender part of the green. Place the tomatoes, jalapeño, scallions, and cilantro into the salad bowl.
Slice the Ahi tuna into 1 inch pieces and add them to the salad bowl. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Next, make the salad dressing. Combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk them together. Dress the salad just before serving. Be sure the Ahi tuna is kept cold and use it the day you purchase it.
Wasabi can be found as a fresh paste, in powdered form that you add water to, or in a tube. The fresh paste tastes best, but they are all useable. Wasabi is a ground root similar to horse radish with a very pungent taste.
I wish everyone a very happy, healthy, and tasty New Year