Today’s guest post is going to make us all a little warmer during these cold, wintry months! Kendra is sharing with us a Hawaiian Dish that comes from the Island of Maui! I would love to try this dish but even better if I was in Maui, don’t you think?
Bringing some Maui Ahi Tuna Home to the East Coast
During my stay in lush and verdant Maui, I was introduced to a decadent recipe that changed my thinking all together of what Hawaiian food is supposed to be. Served at the Lahaina Grill Restaurant, this Maui Onion and Sesame Seed Crusted and Seared Ahi Tuna, with vanilla-bean jasmine rice and apple cider and soy butter vinaigrette, has stayed with my thoughts incessantly since returning home to the East Coast. Now, I’ve got my friends back home begging for it just like I was, weeks ago, in paradise.
Maui Ahi Tuna
- 4, 6- oz. Sashimi-grade Ahi tuna steaks filleted 2 inches thick as a fully trimmed center cut fillet steak
- 12- oz. Maui Onions dehydrated and crushed (sweet onions are an apt substitute)
- 1 Lb. Maui Onions thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Untoasted Sesame Seeds
- Salt and Pepper
- Vanilla-Bean Jasmine Rice:
- 1 Cup Jasmine Rice
- 1 Split Vanilla Bean
- 2 Cups Fish or Clam Stock
- 1 Tbsp Shallots Chopped
- 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- Apple Cider Soy Butter Vinaigrette:
- 2 Cups No Pulp Apple Juice
- 1 Oz. Chives Chopped
- 2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Oz Unsalted Butter
- 4 Oz Soy Margarine
- Toss 1 lb. of sliced Maui onions into 2 tbsp. of oil, in a hot skillet over medium-high heat, until lightly caramelized. Set them aside. Then, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in the same skillet. While heating, roll the tuna filets through the dehydrated onions and sesame seeds until all sides are liberally oated. When the oil sizzles at being touched by the fish, start cooking them on both flat sides and even up on their sides. They're done when all sides are browned and the insides still appear red (for optimum medium rare). Set them aside to rest.
- Bring all the ingredients for the rice to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover the pan and lower the heat to a low simmer. When all of the liquid has been absorbed, move the pan off of the heat and fluff quickly with a fork before recovering it. If liquid remains at the bottom, leave covered over low heat for a few more minutes or until remaining water is absorbed or evaporated.
- As the rice and tuna rest, mix together the 4 cups of apple juice and cider vinegar, then cook over medium heat until these 4 cups are reduced to about 0.5 cup. Just as the mixture cooks down to this level, add the butter, margarine and balsamic vinegar slowly and continue to cook over medium heat. Finally, blend the mixture with a few pulses to fully meld all the flavors.
- Heap the jasmine rice in the center of a serving platter, with the tuna steaks and caramelized onions on top. Then pour the vinaigrette over the entire offering, followed by the uncooked, chopped chives and enjoy!
What I learned in Hawaii was what you eat is just as important where you are staying, even if it is at a top hotel in Maui or your scenic views. I am just glad I was able to take the taste of the island back and be able to replicate it in my own home and for dinner parties with family and friends!
Kendra Thornton: Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR Businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. I am a long time travel expert who has been packing my bags and traveling the world since I was 3 months old. I have mixed my excitement for travel by bringing the taste of authentic cuisine to my own home with some of my unique recipes…I hope you enjoy!