Recipes from Local Restaurant Chefs

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Crispy Ahi

from Executive Chef James McDonald
of I'o and Pacific'O restaurants on Maui, Hawaii
(Serves 6)

Ingredients:
6 - 4oz. Ahi blocks, sashimi grade   1 Tbsp. Shichimi spice
6 Tbsp. wasabi paste   3 oz. pickled ginger
1 cup flour   2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
2 eggs, beaten   Oil to deep fry
3 cups panko salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup red bell pepper, juilenne steamed jasmine rice
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, juilenne Soy Cilantro Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1 cup green papaya, julienne Radish Sprout Aioli (recipe follows)
3 nori sheets, cut in half
Method:    
  • Season ahi with shichimi.
  • Lay out the six strips of Nori and spread wasabi evenly over each sheet.
  • Quickly roll up a block of Ahi in each.
  • Dredge each roll in flour, then egg, and then the panko.
  • Heat oil to a temperature of 350 degrees and quickly fry each Ahi roll no more than one to two minutes. (Ahi will be rare to medium rare.)
  • Remove Ahi from oil to a paper towel-lined dish. Season and slice each roll.
Soy Cilantro Vinaigrette Ingredients:    
1 Tbsp. garlic 1/2 cup lime juice
1 cup cilantro, loosley packed 3/4 cup pickled ginger
1/2 cup mirin 1 cup soy sauce, low salt
1/2 cup sesame oil 2 cups peanut oil
2 cups canola oil
Method:    
  • Place all ingredients in blender except peanut and canola oil. Puree until smooth.
  • With blender running, add remaining oils until emulsified.
  • Reserve chilled.
  • Vinaigrette will last one week in refrigerator.
Radish Sprout Aioli Ingredients:    
2 egg yolks   1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp, ginger, minced   3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups radish sprouts   1 cup green onion tops
2 1/2 cups canola oil   salt and pepper to taste
Method:    
  • Place all ingredients except oil into a blender and puree smooth.
  • With blender running, add oil until emulsified.
  • Reserve chilled.
  • Aioli will last one week in refrigerator.
ASSEMBLY:    
  • Mix papaya and peppers with enough soy cilantro vinaigrette to coat and season.
  • Arrange salad in center of plates and surround with sliced Ahi.
  • Drizzle sauces around Ahi, top salad with pickled ginger and sesame seeds.
  • Serve immediately with steamed rice.

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