Wasabi Seared Tuna

Main, Seafood, Starters | January 23, 2016 | By

When my sister-in-law, Laurel, first introduced me to this amazing dish she served it whole as an entree. So delish, but I’m not a big fan of thick tuna steaks, so I decided to slice it thinly and serve it as an appetizer. Let me tell you, it’s always a big hit with my dinner guests! It’s on the light side so it won’t fill you up before your main meal. Make sure you watch carefully when you’re searing the tuna because it can get overcooked very quickly. I prefer mine rare on the inside so it takes very little time to sear. The wasabi peas are not at all spicy, but give the tuna a pretty outside color and nice texture. This starter dish is made to impress!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Wasabi Seared Tuna
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup wasabi peas
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 2 medium sized, thick sushi grade ahi tuna or yellowfin tuna steaks
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Wasabi paste
Dipping Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 chopped green onion for garnish
  1. Pulse wasabi peas in a food processor until it forms a course powder. Place in a shallow dish for dredging such as a pie pan. Pat dry the tuna steaks and brush one tablespoon of canola oil on both sides. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge tuna on all sides in wasabi peas to coat. Heat a medium cast iron skillet on high heat. Sear tuna for 3 minutes on first side and 2 minutes on second side until nicely seared on the outside and rare on the inside. Make sure to sear the sides as well. Take out of skillet and let rest on cutting board for 5 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain and serve with dipping sauce and wasabi paste.
  2. For the dipping sauce: Whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, and pepper flakes in a small bowl. Top with green onions to garnish and serve alongside tuna slices.
The tuna can also be left whole and served as a thick seared tuna steak as an entree, along with a side of sticky rice and nice ginger salad.

Adapted from: Laurel Schwartz

Crispy Salt & Pepper Tofu

Starters | January 18, 2016 | By

When you make this appetizer for the first time, BE WARNED! — you will become obsessed! Just ask my friend, Lisa! I promise you this tofu nibbler will be on the top of your list of faves. For the best consistency I use the firmest tofu I can find, usually the sprouted tofu. It holds up so much better when frying. And you can experiment with different dipping sauces, or simply use my go-to for this app — sweet chili sauce! It’s the perfect accompaniment. Start dipping!

Crispy Salt & Pepper Tofu
Serves: 4
For the Sauté
  • ½ tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium leek, white part only, washed and sliced
  • 1 small red or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Thai chili pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 tablespoons Soy Vay Hoisin Marinade or teriyaki sauce
For the Tofu
  • 1 block (14 oz when drained) extra firm tofu
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Canola oil for frying
  1. Heat oil in a wok or skillet on medium-high heat. Add chopped leeks and red pepper. Sauté on high heat for about 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Add scallions and chili pepper. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Add Soy Vay Hoisin marinade and cook 30 seconds. Set this mixture aside and keep warm.
  2. Wrap the drained tofu in paper towels or kitchen towel for 30 minutes. Cut tofu into one inch cubes. Place the corn starch, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the tofu cubes and gently toss until tofu pieces are very well coated.
  3. In a large skillet, pour oil so that it comes up ½ inch. Heat the oil making sure it is hot. Add tofu cubes a few at a time so as not to crowd. Fry the tofu pieces, flipping them around, so that all sides are golden brown. Drain onto paper towels.
  4. Put a layer of the vegetable mixture at the bottom of a dish. Lay the fried tofu cubes on top of mixture or top tofu with mixture. Garnish with more green onion.
Serve with store-bought sweet red chili sauce on the side for dipping!

Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

Poultry, Starters | January 15, 2016 | By

My sister-in-law, Cathy, has been making these finger-licking wings for years and I just had to share it with you. Because, who doesn’t love chicken wings? And who needs a sporting event as an excuse to serve them? You can make them as saucy as you wish! Serve them as a starter or as a main. Serve them with ranch or blue cheese dressing, or serve them over rice. You’ll find yourself reaching for this recipe during football season and beyond!

Honey Garlic Chicken Wings
Serves: 6
  • 3 lbs. chicken wings and drumettes, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ teaspoon dried mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • Sesame seeds for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, and paprika. In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients and marinate chicken in mixture either in the bowl or a large ziplock bag for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. Place chicken in a single layer on a cookie sheet or disposable pan, reserving marinade, and bake at least 1 to 1 ½ hours until nicely browned and cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small sauce pan while chicken is in the oven. Reduce heat and simmer marinade for 3 to 4 minutes. Halfway through the cooking process, baste the wings with the marinade at least two times. Sprinkle wings with sesame seeds while hot and ready to serve. Serve with your favorite wing sauce on the side.
Adapted from: Cathy Schwartz