Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ahi Sashimi & Avocado Stack with Wonton Crisps

Inspired by a dinner we enjoyed at Alan Wong's in Honolulu earlier this month, and adapted from the recipe from his 'The Blue Tomato: The Inspirations Behind the Cuisine of Alan Wong' cookbook, I recreated this fabulous Ahi Sashimi & Avocado Stack that I ordered the evening we were there. Although it takes some time to 'prep', the results are well worth the effort. An impressive first course for a special evening, the combination of flavours and textures are simply sublime.

Wonton wrappers cut into 1/8-inch strips then deep fried in batches until crisp and gold, 
about 30 seconds — I did this a day in advance

1 1/2-pounds luscious sashimi grade ahi tuna

The tuna is chopped into a 1/4-inch dice, then seasoned with sesame oil, samba oelek and finely chopped green onion

The avocados were chopped into a 1/-inch dice and seasoned with fresh squeezed lime juice, chopped cilantro, minced ginger, sambal oelek and sake

I made a quick Sambal Aioli using prepared mayonnaise, rather than the homemade mayonnaise Alan Wong suggests, and seasoned it with dijon mustard, lemon juice and sambal oelek

Rather than making a Alan Wong's Wasabi Soy Sauce from scratch, I found thus Kikkoman Wasabi Sauce and used this to garnish the plates, which worked brilliantly as it had a squeezed top nozzle 

Using an empty frozen range juice can as a ring-mold, the layers of the stack are scooped in and compacted then topped with aioli and garnished with baby sprouts

 The ahi tuna stacks are plated and finished with a few dots if wasabi

Ahi Sashimi & Avocado Salsa Stack with Crispy Wontons
Serves 5
Recipe adapted and modified from Alan Wong's Blue Tomato Cookbook

Crispy Won Tons:
15 Wonton Wrappers
Canola oil for deep frying

Ahi Poke:
1 1/2 lb sashimi-grade ahi
2 tsp sesame oil
4 tbsp thinly sliced green onion
2 tsp Sambal Oelek sauce

Avocado Salsa:
3 small ripe avocados, about 7oz each
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh cilantro
3 tsp minced ginger
4 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp Sambal Oelek 
3 tsp Sake 

Quick Sambal Aioli:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp Sambal Oelek 

Micro greens or sprouts
Wasabi Sauce

Cut the won ton wrappers into 1/8-inch strips. In a saucepan, heat 3-4" of oil to 350°F then place a small handful of the won ton strips in the hot oil and fry until light golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and set aside, allowing the won ton strips to cool. This can be done a day in advance.

Cut the ahi tuna into 1/4-inch cubes. Season with salt then add sesame oil and mix to coat well. Add the remaining ingredients and gently toss the mixture together. Taste and adjust the seasoning; set aside.

Cut the avocados into 1/4-inch cubes then sprinkle with salt then lime juice. Add the remaining ingredients and gently stir, but do not mash. 

For the sambal aioli, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, sambal oelek and garlic in a bowl and mix until well incorporated. Season with salt to taste.

To assemble the stacks, position a 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" ring-mold, or empty frozen orange juice can with both ends removed, on a serving plate. Spread a small amount of Avocado Salsa to serve as a base to prevent the won ton layer from sliding. Place won ton strips at the bottom and gently press down. Fill the remainder of the mold with Ahi Poke and smooth the top. Spoon 1/2 tsp of Sambal Aioli in the center of the ahi. Garnish with micro basil and an edible flower. If you can't find micro basil, sliced green onion may be substituted as a garnish. Using a squeeze bottle, make graduated dots of Wasabi Soy from large to small around the stack, and serve. Delicious and impressive!