Do you ever just get in the mood for a super crunchy salad?! Same! That mood is what inspired this Chopped Asian Salad with Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna & a Peanut-Miso Dressing!
Intimidated by Ahi Tuna?!
I know ahi tuna can be intimidating but I promise you, you are capable of making it! A super important thing about making ahi tuna is buying the correct tuna. You want to make sure it’s labeled as “ahi tuna” or sushi-grade. They will often come frozen or previously-frozen… if you have questions, just ask someone at the seafood counter to help you.
Once you have your ahi tuna steaks, they truly are so easy to cook. And, because they’re rare in the middle, they cook so quickly! All you need is 1-2 minutes per side, depending on how rare you like it. It’s totally safe to eat it completely rare, but I prefer a bit of a crust on it, so I sear mine closer to 2 minutes per side. Then I use tongs to quickly sear each side just until they turn color and form a bit of a crust.
After you’ve cooked the ahi tuna steaks, you’ll want to cut them on the diagonal in ¼-inch thick slices. These are perfect for picking up with chopsticks with other pieces of the crunchy salad.
The Crunchy Salad Components
One thing that makes this salad especially delicious are the crunchy chopped veggies paired that get slightly soft from the dressing. Getting a bite of the crunchy chopped veggies with the tender tuna is just so good! In this version, I used carrots, celery, cabbage and edamame, but you could definitely substitute based on what you prefer or have on hand. Bell peppers or red onion would be super good! I love including the edamame for a bit of protein, and it’s so easy to find at the store already shelled and ready to eat. The main thing here is just to make sure that the veggies are all similar in size!
Peanut-Miso Salad Dressing
I’m always drawn to Asian flavors, and have been playing around a lot with miso paste. It’s one of my go-to ingredients in so many recipes because it’s such an umami-bomb. If you’re not familiar with it, miso paste is a traditional Japanese seasoning made from fermented soy beans. It comes in different varieties, but white miso is the most mild in flavor. I really enjoy using it in any Asian-inspired recipe, and in almost every soup that I make!
And, because it’s fermented, miso paste has live, cultured bacteria (although these do get killed off if you use it in a recipe that boils it). But, yay for gut health! I try to incorporate gut-healthy foods whenever I can, and miso is a great option.
Combine the umami goodness of miso with the nutty peanut butter and a bit of acidity from the rice vinegar, and it’s seriously a flavor combo made in heaven!
Crunchy Chopped Salad with Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna
- cutting board
- sharp knife
- 3 large carrots chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 10 oz. red cabbage shredded
- 1 cup edamame shelled
- 1/2 cup green onion sliced
- 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp white miso paste
- 1/4 cup avocado oil (or sub EVOO)
- 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 ahi tuna steaks
- 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Roughly chop carrots, celery, green onion & shredded red cabbage into even-sized pieces and mix together in a bowl with the edamame
- Make dressing by whisking together: peanut butter, white miso, rice vinegar & avocado oil
- Stir the peanut-miso dressing into the chopped salad until coated. Let soak for about 10 minutes while the tuna steaks are prepared
- Pat the tuna steaks dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt & pepper
- Dip the ahi tuna steaks in a bowl or plate with the sesame seeds to coat the tuna on all sides
- Heat avocado oil on medium. Add the tuna steaks, searing the top and bottom for 1-2 minutes each, depending on how rare you like the tuna steaks.
- Using tongs, sear the sides just until a crust is formed, about 30 seconds per side
- Remove ahi tuna steaks and cut on the diagonal in 1/2 inch-thick slices
- Serve the ahi tuna steaks over the dressed crunchy chopped salad