I had such a great time as a semi-finalist in the Gloria Ferrer Glorious Bites Challenge last month.
Creating an appetizer to pair perfectly with California Sparkling Wine (only the stuff that comes from the Champagne region of France can technically be called Champagne) was quite the challenge. So imagine my delight when I was chosen as a semi finalist. That delight was quickly turned into a cold sweat when I saw that cooking contest goddesses (and dear friends) Suzanne Clark, Merry Graham and Laurie Figone were also chosen as semi-finalists! In the end, one of the 4 of us took home the title. But we all had a grand time, and every who tasted it LOVED my dish. And it’s really incredibly easy! Seriously! Give it a try!
Seared Ahi w/Sweet Tamari Marinade on Watermelon Cubes
1/2 cup Tamari Sauce
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Mirin
1/4 cup White Sesame Seeds
1/4 cup Black Sesame Seeds
1 pound Sushi Grade Ahi Tuna
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Srirracha Sauce
1 teaspoon fresh Lemon Juice
2 cups ripe Seedless Watermelon
1/4 cup fresh Chives
1. Combine tamari, sugar and mirin in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved and liquid has reduced by half. Pour into a large shallow dish (like a casserole dish) and set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Pour sesame seeds onto a plate and toss together so the 2 colors combine.
3. Using the sharpest knife possible, slice the ahi into long rectangles. (You’ll want to be able to slice them after they’re seared, into pieces that will fit on top of the watermelon cubes).
4. Dip the ahi in the marinade, rolling it around so all the fish is coated.
5. Roll the ahi in the sesame seeds, completely coating the fish on all sides.
6. Place the olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat and sear the ahi on all sides. Transfer to a covered container and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
7. While ahi cools, place mayonnaise, Srirracha, and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
d set aside to cool to room temperature.
8. Working from the center of the fruit, cut watermelon into rectangles, approximately 1 inch long, 1/2 inch tall and 1/2 inch wide.
9. To assemble, place watermelon cubes on a serving platter. Slice the ahi 1/4 inch thick and place on top of watermelon. Top with a dollop of spicy mayo and a few pieces of chive.