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Ahi Tuna Poke

Mary Anne here. At our most recent family chow-down, my niece, Heidi, whipped up this smashing appetizer in about 10 minutes. Initially I didn’t deem sushi-quality Ahi Tuna Feast-worthy (given its high price tag), but when I saw how far it went in my family of gastronomes, I quickly changed my tune and sweet-talked my niece into sharing her recipe.

Prepped in a flash, this delightful appetizer is as gorgeous as it is easy. For photographic purposes, Heidi and I transferred some of the tuna mixture into a medium-size custard cup and then inverted it onto a small plate, creating a timbale. We then decorated the plate with dots and swirls of the spicy chili sauce. Although it’s a controversial herb in some kitchens, cilantro would be a fitting garnish, but alas, we had none. We served this with blue corn tortilla chips, but fried wonton chips or pita crisps also work well for scooping up this delicate melange.

If you’d like to veer from this more traditional restaurant-inspired rendition, feel free to get creative and swap out the cucumber and/or tomato for a sprinkling of chopped Granny Smith apple, red bell pepper, or sweet onion. My niece has also served the Ahi Tuna Poke as an entree over a bed of greens. Whatever your fancy, this is a spectacular dish – first course or main event – and it’s practically guaranteed to wow your guests.

Ahi Tuna Poke
Makes 20 Appetizer Servings

1½ lbs. sushi-quality Ahi Tuna, chopped – $38.00
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped – $0.99
3 avocados, peeled and chopped – $3.00
2 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped – $0.69

For the Sauce:
2 Tablespoons hot chili sauce (Sriracha) – Asian stock
½ cup low-sodium soy or Tamari sauce – stock
2 Tablespoons sesame oil – Asian stock
2 Tablespoons Mirin wine – Asian stock
1 Teaspoon Dijon-style mustard (optional) – stock
Grand Total Assuming Well-Stocked Asian Pantry: $42.68
Total Per Appetizer Serving: $2.13

1. In a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl, combine the Ahi Tuna and vegetables.

2. Whisk together the sauce ingredients, blending well. Pour over the prepared Tuna, stirring gently to combine thoroughly. Serve with fried wonton or tortilla chips.