I first experienced how delicious Ahi tuna is while visiting my son Michael’s family in Hawaii. Hawaiians make what must be the world’s best Ahi tuna sandwiches, bursting with flavor and smothered with grilled onions, lettuce, and an amazing sauce, which they called “aioli.” I was determined to learn how to imitate this succulent dish after we returned to the mainland.However, I was disappointed to discover how expensive Ahi tuna can be here in the middle of America far from ocean shores. At our downtown “World Market,” it costs $20 per pound. 😦 To my delight, I’ve now found a source for fresh-caught Ahi from Vietnam at my favorite store: Meijer, and I can get it on sale for $6 a pound, which isn’t bad if you consider that 4 oz. can make a reasonable serving. I guess technically aioli sauce is defined by garlic and mayonnaise, but at our house we’ve improvised with a recipe that my son Stephen developed. First, just a word on cooking the fish. Ahi tuna is a very meaty fish and tastes great seared on your grill just like a beef steak. In the winter, try searing it in a hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side with some sauteed garlic, salt, and pepper. If you overcook it, the steak becomes tough, so stop while it’s pink inside.If you really want to “go healthy,” Ahi can be served over a salad, although I prefer topping it with aioli sauce to bring out the flavor and add moisture.
Simple but Scrumptious Aioli Sauce (serves 2-4)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
(In honor of my research, you might want to add some garlic powder or fresh minced garlic. Experiment. I prefer grilling garlic cloves with the fish.)
Stir everything together until it’s smooth. It takes just a minute to make!Use it to top your tuna, add a few fresh fruits and veggie sides, and you’ve got a Friday night Lenten Special dinner that’s very healthy and full of flavor. (Or, of course, you can always go out for a fish fry! 🙂 )
“And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me,
and I will make you to become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17).