Happy Monday! Can you believe it's already March!? I feel like I was just going on and on about how much I love January (I mean, it really is the best month of the year) and then I blinked and here we are in March. Man, is this year is flying by. I mean I was just getting used to winter, and I haven't even explored all the citrus possibilities yet. I'm gonna blink again and spring's gonna be here. Guess I better get on all those citrus themed dishes then, huh. And I kinda feel like I should apologize because way back in January, when I was feeling insanely ambitious, I promised more savory dishes and then didn't deliver.
Well, I'm sure the last thing anyone wants to hear is an excuse so I'm going to provide an explanation as to why it's taken me so long to get back on the savory train. Here it goes. While I swear I do more than bake and eat sweets, they really are the easiest to shoot and share because natural light. And what I mean by that is that I can shoot it during the day, even when nobody's home, and not worry about it going to waste because chances are, it'll be pretty good by the time someone, anyone rolls in. But savory dishes...well those are tricky. Because if no one is around, chances are I'll be eating solo or sharing some leftovers by the time someone (Moses) comes home. So I've kinda stayed away from sharing these dishes. Until NOW (cue the party poppers) because a promise is a promise!!!
So here's the thing, I believe in balance, and I'm striving to find more of it. With that said, I'd like to find more balance here as well. I recently made this matcha black sesame babka. I also made some malasadas and some kardemummabullar. But guess what? I haven't shared a salad in a really long time. Whomp. Whomp. Whomp. That's changing today.
This salad is pretty fantastic and it's kinda gorgeous too. It's also inspired (pretty heavily) by my favorite salad of all time at Mama's Fish House on Maui. Fresh Kula veggies tossed lightly with a roasted sesame dressing, loaded with the freshest ahi (tuna) sashimi known to man, then topped with crispy wonton strips and wasabi goat cheese, this salad can be summed up as heaven on a plate if you're an ahi lover like me or a salad lover in general. While my version is similar, I've mixed it up a bit with some beautiful watermelon radish slices and went with traditional goat cheese. If you're thinking, what about the wasabi, don't stress--I've got you covered. Each slice of ahi is dressed with a tiny dab of wasabi then dipped in soy sauce to give each bite a little extra zing. And if you want to use wasabi goat cheese and dress up your ahi slices for extra-extra zing, feel free. This is your salad after all.
Ok, can we stop to talk about all these textures for a minute? Seriously, this salad isn't just for ahi lovers. Look. At. All. Of. That. Crunch.
Carrot. ✔︎ Check
Cabbage. ✔︎✔︎ Double Check
Radish. ✔︎ Check
Sesame. ✔︎ Check
Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.
Ahi Sashimi Salad with Crispy Wonton Strips
Serves 2-4 (depending on serving size and hunger levels)
CRISPY WONTON STRIPS
- 5 wonton wrappers
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- salt, to taste
ROASTED SESAME SEED DRESSING
- 3 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. honey
- 2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
- 3 tsp. roasted white sesame seeds
- Pepper, to taste
- 1/2 medium savoy cabbage, thinly shredded
- 1/4 medium red cabbage, thinly shredded
- 2 medium carrots, thinly shredded
- 1 small watermelon radish, halved and thinly sliced
- 4 - 8 red leaf lettuce leaves
- 3/4 pound sushi grade ahi (tuna), thinly sliced (at least 24 slices)
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 - 2 tsp. wasabi paste
- Goat cheese round, for grating on top
- Lemon or lime wedges, optional
- Glass measuring cup (for liquids)
- Spatula or tongs
- Paper towels
- Measuring spoons
- Small bowl
- Large salad bowl
- Citrus zester
- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
CRISPY WONTON STRIPS
- Cut each wonton wrapper into rectangular strips, about 1/2 cm to 1 cm wide.
- In skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. When oil is hot, drop around half of the strips in, making sure not to crowd the pan, and fry until golden brown or darker if you prefer extra crispy. Shouldn't take more than 20 seconds, so work quickly to avoid burning.
- Remove the wonton strips from pan with spatula or tons and place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle with salt to taste and set aside
ROASTED SESAME SEED DRESSING
- Combine all ingredients, except pepper, in a small bowl and whisk together.
- Add pepper to taste and set aside.
Put goat cheese round in freezer.
Line salad plates with red leaf lettuce leaves, two or three on each, and set aside.
Dab a small amount of wasabi onto the top of each slice of sashimi then dip into soy sauce (in a small bowl). Set aside dipped slices.
In a large salad bowl, combine cabbages, carrots and radish slices with two to three tablespoons of dressing and toss lightly.
Mound dressed cabbage mix atop red leaf lettuce leaves and layer dipped ahi sashimi slices (wasabi side down).
Top with crispy wonton strips.
Remove goat cheese from freezer and finely grate (using citrus zester) all over salad.
Optional: Garnish with a lemon or lime wedge.
Serve and enjoy!