Seared Ahituna with Avocado Radish

From Matthew Altizer

2009 Mar/Apr

This dish is all about balance — the richness of the tuna and avocado is cut by the tang of the vinaigrette. Buy the best quality sashimi-grade tuna as the fish is only lightly seared


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Lime juice to taste
  • Salt
  • 4 radishes
  • 1 lb sashimi-grade ahi tuna
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ c. black sesame seeds
  • 1 T. grapeseed oil


  • 1 dried arbol chile
  • 2 T. freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1/2 c. roughly chopped ginger
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. champagne vinegar
  • 1/3 c. soy sauce


Make dressing first. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth, then pour through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.

Dice avocado, mix with lime juice and salt, and mash slightly with a fork. Slice radishes thinly and place in ice-cold water until ready to use. Slice the tuna into 2 steaks, season with salt and pepper and coat with black sesame seeds. Preheat a cast iron or other heavy-bottom pan over high heat until smoking hot, then add the grapeseed oil and sear tuna on all sides (about 15 seconds per side).

To Serve
Mound the avocado mixture on 4 plates; slice the tuna steaks in half on the diagonal and place on top. Drain radish slices, pat dry, season with salt and arrange on top of tuna. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of dressing over each plate of tuna, avocado and radishes. Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Suggested wine pairing: Schloss Reinhartshausen Pinot Noir or Marietta Zinfandel.