Seared Ahi Tacos with Chopped Mixed Veggies and Ponzu

September 1, 2016

I have strong affinity for tacos and an even stronger one for Ahi tuna, and when the two come together I become overwhelmed by the delicious bliss that serenades my existence!  Was that dramatic enough to catch your attention?  I hope so, because I think you will thoroughly enjoy this installment of Casey’s Kitchen!

1/2 Cup Baby Bok Choy (chopped)
1/2 Cup Shredded Carrot
1/2 Cup Sugar Snap Peas (thinly sliced)
1/2 Cup Green Onion (thinly sliced)
1 lb. Ahi Tuna
Toasted Sesame Seeds
6 Corn Tortillas

Ponzu Ingredients:
2 Tbs Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
2 Tbs Toasted Sesame Oil
1 tsp Honey
1 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbs Fresh Ginger Root (minced)
Zest of one Orange
Zest of one Lemon

Spicy Aioli Ingredients:
3 Tbs Mayonaise and 1 Tbs Chili Garlic Sauce (i.e. Sriracha), mixed thoroughly.

1.) First, make your ponzu.  Ponzu is essentially a sweetened, citrus, soy sauce, and it is important to make this in advance in order to allow ample time for the flavors to blend.  This can be done at the beginning of your meal prep, but it would be even better if prepared the day before.

FullSizeRenderThe easiest way to zest fruit is with a microplane.  If you don’t have a zester or a microplane, then you can use a vegetable peeler to shave off thin strips of rind and then use a knife to mince it as finely as possible.  Either way, the ultimate goal when zesting is to remove only the colored portion of the rind, since the white pith holds more bitterness than flavor.  But don’t get too obsessive with this.  A little pith won’t ruin this meal 😉

Once you have zested your entire orange and lemon, add all of your ponzu ingredients into a small container with a tightly fitting lid and shake vigorously, and leave at room temperature.

2.)  Next, encrust the Ahi on all sides with toasted sesame seeds.  This is most easily accomplished by placing a generous layer of sesame seeds on a plate, and then roll the Ahi through the sesame seeds on all sides (adding more if needed).  Set your Ahi aside while you prep your veggies.

3.)  Slice and chop all of your veggies, and place them in a bowl.

4.)  Sear the Ahi.  Preheat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the skillet is hot (4-5 minutes), place 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in the skillet and add the Ahi.  Using tongs, sear the Ahi on all sides for about 45 seconds each (including the edges).  The idea is to get a high heat sear around the entire piece of Ahi while leaving the inside raw.

Once seared on all sides, place the Ahi on a cutting board to cool for a couple minutes.

5.)  Wipe out your skillet and warm up each of the corn tortillas over medium heat, flipping occasionally.

6.)  Add the ponzu to the chopped veggies and mix thoroughly.

7.) Using a sharp knife, slice the Ahi.  The Ahi will be delicate to slice, so utilize light pressure and long sawing motions (too much pressure will smash it)

8.) Assemble your tacos. Spread a IMG_2535generous teaspoon of aioli on each of the tortillas.

Then add your veggies.

And lastly, top each taco with a slice or two of Ahi, and ENJOY!!!