Seared Ahi with Pomelo Salad

By boulangere
January 19, 2012
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Author Notes: Thank heaven for citrus. They're the cleanest, brightest flavors available to those of us in cold, snowy regions. There is no logical reason I should be craving salads right now. We had a foot of snow in the past 24 hours, with another foot forecast for tonight. The high temperature today was 5 degrees, and it's rapidly heading back below zero, where apparently it has decided it belongs. Maybe it's my appetite's way of brightening life up a bit. This salad is all about tender-crisp textures and rounded sweet-tart-spicy flavors. It's just the thing when you can't stand any more winter.boulangere

Serves: 2
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 5 min

For the Marinade

  • 2 4-ounce ahi tuna steaks
  • Sea or kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2` ounces Sesame oil
  • 4 Cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sambal Oelek

For the Salad and Dressing

  • 2 pomellos, peeled, suprême
  • 2 tomatillos, 1/4” dice
  • 2 mini red or orange sweet peppers, 1/4” slices
  • 1 small jicama, peeled, 1/4” dice
  • 4 scallions, green & white parts, 1/4" slices
  • 1/2 jalapeño, very small dice
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek
  • 1 teaspoon Sea or kosher salt
  • 4 ounces Sesame oil
  • 1 lime cut into 4 wedges
  1. Sprinkle both sides of the ahi steaks with salt. Stir together marinade ingredients in a shallow, flat-bottomed dish. Place steaks in marinade. Turn every few minutes while you prepare the salad and dressing. After you suprême the pomello, squeeze the remaining juice from the membranes into the marinade.
  2. On my blog, I have what think is a fairly easy description (with photos) of how to suprême any citrus fruit: thesolitarycook http://wp.me/27pPl, Jan. 13 post. Basically, you need to remove all the peel and white pith from the outside, then remove each segment, leaving behind all the membranes. Yes, it's worth the effort.
  3. Toss together the pomelos, tomatillos, sweet peppers, jicama, scallions, and jalapeñno.
  4. To make the dressing, whisk together the orange juice, Sambal Oelek, and salt until the salt has dissolved. Add the sesame oil and whisk to blend. Pour over the salad ingredients and toss to distribute. The jicama will absorb lots of flavor while you sear the ahi.
  5. Heat a ridged grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Film with some sesame oil. Lift the ahi from the marinade and set in the hot pan. Let sear to a good caramelization on one side (gently lift a corner and peek), then carefully turn and do the same to the other side. All together, it should take less than 5 minutes to sear both sides.
  6. Remove ahi to a cutting board. Let sit while you distribute salad between plates. Cut ahi into 1/2” thick slices and arrange over the salads. Spoon up some of the wonderful dressing and drizzle over. Serve with wedges of lime.

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