World Tuna Day

Grilling a gorgeous tuna steak would be la wonderful way to celebrate World Tuna Day! I say this despite the fact that one of my friends comes to mind who eats no fish except for canned tuna. While she would cringe over anything other than tuna from a can, I will delve forward into other ideas.

Sometimes it’s great to be able to present a smashingly awesome appetizer. On World Tuna Day, a raw tuna sushi selection may appeal. My personal preference is to give the tuna a gentle searing, but keeping it totally pink inside, as in tataki. So, be a bit adventurous today and enjoy my Tuna Tataki Crisps! They were inspired by servings I enjoyed in various restaurants over the years, so dining out is another option, but these crisps are really quite simple to make.

Let’s start with the Fried Wonton Chips. Cut 15 squares wonton wrappers in half, either horizontally into rectangles or diagonally into triangles. Deep fry a few at a time in peanut (or canola) oil at 365°F for about 30 seconds, until crisp. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, salting, if desired.

See… that was easy! Need it even more Super Simple? Use premade flour tortilla chips.

You will also want a topping. Choose a bottled ponzu, sweet Thai chili, tamari or soy, or even a teriyaki sauce. Or make a Wasabi Cream to drizzle. Start with ½ c of sour cream or mayonnaise and mix in 1 T wasabi paste, 1 tsp each: bottled minced ginger, tamari or soy sauce, and fresh lime juice, and a sprinkle of kosher salt & ground black pepper.

I respectfully as that you do not use canned tuna. Go for the real deal with Tuna Tataki. Start with a 6-oz fresh (or frozen, thawed) 1”-thick ahi tuna steak, rinsed & patted dry with paper towels. Then, if desired, cut into 1”-wide “logs” before tossing in 1 T sesame oil (or some lime juice) and sprinkling with a combo of 1 T of both white and black sesame seeds. (Of course, sesame seeds are optional.) Cook the strips in olive oil over med-high heat for just 1-3 min, turning to brown on all sides, but keeping the fish very pink in the center. Remove it from the pan, let it cool slightly, and slice or dice, as you prefer.

To assemble Tuna Tataki Crisps, place your Fried Wonton Chips on a serving platter or individual serving dishes. Top with your choice of baby greens, spring mix, coleslaw, seaweed salad, or sliced/diced avocado… with your prepared Tuna Tataki. Drizzle with Wasabi Cream and garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a thin strip of pickled sushi ginger; serve immediately.

A 6-oz tuna steak makes enough appetizer portions for 4, or it makes multiple tapas bites. Have fun and be creative. For example, you can turn these into Asian Shrimp Bites, by replacing the tuna with grilled shrimp. Or try Tataki Nachos by using guacamole and mango salsa and topping each with a thin slice (or dice) of seeds-removed jalapeño pepper. The possibilities are endless.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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