Charred Sichimi Ahi Coated with Japanese Spices in Lilikoi-Soy Sauce
Japanese flavors predominate in a simple dish of seared ahi with greens. The lilikoi-soy sauce adds the island touch. Lilikoi is the Hawaiian term for passion fruit; the concentrate can be found in the frozen foods section in some large markets. Orange makes a good substitute. Sichimi is a Japanese spice of chilies, sesame seeds, orange peel, seaweed, and poppy seeds. It is available in many large markets, or in Asian markets. Cajun spice mix may be substituted if necessary.
- Maui or other sweet white onion - 1/2, finely slices
- Fresh lemon juice - 1/2 teaspoon
- Daikon - 1/2, ut into julienne
- Carrot - 1/2 , peeled and cut into fine julienne
- Ahi Tuna - 12 ounces
- Sichimi - 3 tablespoons
- Olive Oil - 1/2 tablespoon
- Lilikoi-Soy Sauce
- Dry white wine - 1 cup
- Unsweetened lilikoi (passion fruit) puree or passion fruit concentrate - 1/4 cup
- Shallot - 1, sliced
- White peppercorns - 6
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Soy Sauce - 1 tablespoon
- Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick), cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- Shiso (beefsteak) leaves - 4, stemmed (substitute: basil leaves)
- Pickled Ginger - 4 pieces, drained
Toss the onion with the lemon juice. Place the daikon in cold water to crisp for 15 minutes. Drain the daikon and mix with the carrot. Set aside.
To prepare the ahi: Cut the ahi 1-1/2 inches thick, then into rectangles about 6 inches long. Coat the ahi with sichimi. In a large, heavy sauce pan or skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Cook a batch of ahi for 10 seconds on each side, or until seared on the outside and rare on the inside. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat to cook all the ahi. Slice the ahi against the grain into 1/8-inch-thick pieces.
To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the white wine, lilikoi puree, shallot, peppercorns, bay leaf, soy sauce, and sugar. If using sweetened passion fruit juice concentrate, omit the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup. Add the cream and cook until reduced again to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time. Keep warm over warm water until ready to use.
To serve: Place 12/ teaspoon of the slices onion in the middle of each plate. Mound 1 tablespoon daikon mixture on top. Place 1 shiso leaf on the top of each plate and et 1 piece of ginger on the leaf. Ladle 2 tablespoons of sauce around the daikon on the bottom third of each plate. Lean the ahi against the daikon on top of the sauce.