Here’s a recipe that draws its heritage from the the tropical islands of Hawaii. It’s been decades since my last visit and I wasn’t even introduced to Hawaiian cuisine till I lived in San Jose, but I’ve become quite a fan of the regional food that quite possibly started the “asian fusion” movement.
For those of you that are from other parts of the world, Hawaii is a blend of people from just about everywhere, including such disparate groups as the Native Americans, Japanese, Germans, and the native Hawaiian population, so it stands to reason that the food reflects a melding of various ancestries with the abundant bounties of the rain forests and surrounding sea.
This dish is my take on on this island classic, combining the asian flavors with some local springtime ramps. The sweet soy sauce, nutty sesame oil and garlicy ramps work harmoniously with the satiny tuna to create something refreshing, exotic and comforting all at the same time.
Best of all, there’s not much work involved beyond a bit of chopping and stirring, perfect for a hot summer day. Because shape doesn’t really matter I usually go for the cheaper “kiriotoshi” cuts of the tuna, These are the bits that get cut off when the store shapes the tuna into perfect blocks to sell as sashimi.
1/2 lbs. sashimi grade blue fin tuna cut into cubes
4 ramp leaves cut into a chiffonade (if you can’t get ramps, use scallions)
1/4 C rehydrated seaweed (I used wakame, but you could use just about anything)
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
Best quality sea salt you have (fleur de sel and Alaea both work, I used cherry wood smoked salt)
Toss all the ingredients (except the salt) in a bowl and stir to combine.
Plate and sprinkle a little sea salt on top. Serve with a bowl of rice.