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Elia's Ahi Tuna with Spinach Salad and Mini Onions

From Top Chef's Elia Aboumrad, Season 2 & All-Stars

Elia's Ahi Tuna with Spinach Salad and Mini Onions


  Sesame Ginger Sauce
2 teaspoons honey
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoons ginger juice
  salt and pepper to taste
1 Ahi tuna steak, 6 to 8 ounces
  Mustard Vinaigrette
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoons ginger juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 cups baby spinach, or greens of choice
2 tablespoons scallion, minced, white part only

Cooking Instructions

Searing Technique

Searing is a fairly simple technique for cooking meat, poultry, and fish to create a crispy crust and moist and tender interior. And it's simple: you need a very hot, heavy pan and dry protein.

Add a bit of oil to a heavy sauté pan and heat to medium-high or high (about 300 F). Pat your protein dry with a paper towel, add salt and pepper, and place it in the pan. After a few minutes, when the edges of the meat have browned, reduce the heat to medium and flip. Cook to your desired doneness.

For the Honey Ginger Sauce
Combine the honey, 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil, the canola oil, sesame seeds, lime juice, the rice vinegar, and ginger juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Whole-Grain Mustard Vinaigrette
In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, whole-grain mustard, ginger juice, soy sauce, and honey. Season with salt and pepper.

To Assemble
Rub the tuna steak with remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tuna and sear on both sides (See Searing Technique above). Remove the pan from heat and transfer the fish to a cutting board. Slice the tuna into thin strips across the grain.

Drizzle the tuna with the Sesame Ginger Sauce. Toss the spinach with the Whole-Grain Mustard Vinaigrette. Divide the tuna and spinach between 2 plates and sprinkle with the minced scallion. Serves 2.

Recipe and image used with permission and courtesy of Top Chef. All rights reserved. Recipe by Elia Aboumrad who appeared in Top Chef's Season 2 & All-Stars

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