Sesame Hoisin Tuna Salad

Man oh man am I partied out!  In a matter of 1 week, we have celebrated our one year wedding anniversary, Ryan’s 35th birthday, and my 28th birthday.  In our house, that means favorite foods, favorite drinks, favorite desserts and whatever else is your favorite for seven straight days in heaven.  Somebody get me a salad.

Thankfully, it really wasn’t all that bad.  Ryan’s a stickler for getting me to workout with him and we both like to walk a lot so despite the fact that we had dessert twice per day for 7 days straight, it thankfully wasn’t too much of a setback.  In addition to the strawberry cake I made for our anniversary (we still have 1/3 of it in the freezer), I made Ryan the most divine Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie with dark chocolate that I had been drooling over on Joy the Baker‘s blog.  Joy really is a genius.  If you are scared of making pies from scratch, head on over to Joy’s page.  She has the best pie-making tips and tricks.

In the midst of all the cake and pie goodness, and definitely not to be overshadowed, was the refreshingly bright and colorful Sesame Hoisin Tuna Salad that I made for our anniversary dinner.  Seems almost too healthy for an anniversary dinner, but we are both seafood fanatics and it was really hot outside that day, so a salad just seemed to suit.  I have no regrets!

This salad was particularly delectable – melt-your-mouth tuna steaks, mouthwatering sesame hoisin dressing, bright juicy tomatoes and grapefruit, and creamy avocado.  Have  I made you want to try it yet?  You definitely should – don’t be alarmed by the long ingredient list.  If you like Asian food, you probably have most everything on hand and the preparation techniques for this recipe are simple.

Here’s a few notes about the recipe:

– You can use any type of fresh tuna steaks, but try to buy sustainable seafood that is also in season.  Ask the fish experts at your local market!  Albacore, yellowtail, and yellowfin would all be delicious.

– The dressing can be made ahead and stored for up to a week.

– Frico sesame chips are optional, however, they make for a lovely crunchy garnish!


For the tuna:
    • Two 6-ounce fresh tuna fillets
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
For the tuna marinade:
    • 2 teaspoons Siracha sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon dark sesame oil
    • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce (Tamari for gluten-free)
    • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
    • 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
For the salad:
    • 2 cups spring mix lettuce
    • 2 cups baby arugula
    • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered
    • 1 ruby red grapefruit, supremed into segments
    • 1/2 an avocado, diced
For the vinaigrette:
    • 2 teaspoons honey
    • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
    • Juice and zest of one medium lime
    • 3 Tablespoons of grapeseed oil (or any neutral-flavored oil)
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
For the frico chip garnish:
  • 6 Tablespoons freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (recommend using a microplane for this)
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Make the tuna marinade by placing all ingredients in a quart-size plastic bag. Add tuna to marinade and refrigerate 30 minutes. Do not marinate any longer or the tuna will turn to mush!
  3. While the tuna marinates, make the frico chips, prepare all your salad ingredients by washing greens, cutting veggies, and make the vinaigrette last.
  4. For the frico chips – line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat. Mix the parmesan and sesame seeds together and drop by tablespoon-fulls onto the baking sheet. You should have 6 small piles of the cheese/seed mixture. Bake at 375 for 7 minutes or until golden. Cool completely before carefully removing them with a small spatula. Set aside on a plate until ready to garnish the salad.
  5. To make the salad dressing – combine all ingredients in a small tupperware with a lid and shake vigorously. Set aside until ready to dress the salad plates.
  6. To sear the tuna – heat a skillet on medium high heat. While it heats, remove the tuna from marinade and pat dry. Discard marinade. MIx the coarse salt, pepper, and sesame seeds on a plate and coat both sides of each tuna steak in this mixture. Sear for 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare tuna and transfer to a plate. Cool 5 minutes before slicing into 1/2” thick strips.
  7. Assemble the salad – Divide lettuce among 2 plates. Arrange 4 tomato wedges and 4 grapefruit segments around the lettuce on each plate. Add the avocado on top of lettuce, then top with sliced tuna. Drizzle each salad with 2-3 Tablespoons of vinaigrette, then wedge the frico chips between the tuna slices for a garnish. Serve immediately and enjoy your masterpiece!
This entry was posted in Salads.

Sweet and Spicy Peach BBQ Sauce

When it comes to peaches, I identify with good all’ Bubba Gump.  If it were up to me, I’d open a restaurant and have only dishes that featured peaches.  Peach salsa, peach pizza, peach quesadillas, peach BBQ ribs, peach chicken, peach French toast, peach oatmeal, peach pie, peach fritters, peach cobbler, peach ice cream…..I could go on but you get the picture.

I am a beach girl through and through.  From the clothes, I wear to the nail polish I choose, to the food I eat.  I get so overwhelmed by all the foods I want to make when peaches come in season.  But this past weekend I knew it had to be peach BBQ sauce.  I was craving something sweet.  And spicy.  And sticky.  This recipe took care of all of that.

Folks, this BBQ sauce is made of the stuff that makes you want to “slap yo mama” when you taste it.  We’re talking ripe juicy peaches married with spicy chipotle peppers.  A pleasant tang is added with apple cider vinegar and good ketchup.  Sweet notes come from dark brown sugar and smoked sweet paprika.  Flavor is enhanced with garlic, Worcestershire,  ancho chili powder, and Dijon mustard.  And the bourbon.  This is added to give a mysterious depth of flavor and make people scratch their heads trying to figure out the “secret” ingredient.  It’s all lip-smackin’ good!

This sauce is going to be the game-changer at your summer cookouts.  It will take your ribs, chicken, pork, sandwiches, and even pizza to the next level.  I really need to can this sauce and save it for the winter because I’ve literally been thinking about it since last summer.  Excuse me while I go to my fridge and grab a spoon.  Ryan is not getting any leftovers today!

Recipe notes:

  • If you don’t have bourbon or don’t want to use it in this recipe, water can be substituted.  I also have a strong suspicion that Dr. Pepper would taste delicious as a substitution.  If you go this route, omit the dark brown sugar from the recipe so the sweetness isn’t overpowering.

Sweet and Spicy Peach BBQ Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: About 2 cups

Fresh, juicy peaches are the star of this sweet and spicy stick-to-your-ribs BBQ sauce. Serve it on your favorite grilled meats, hot dogs, burgers, paninis, and pizza!


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 chipotle pepper canned in adobo with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the adobo sauce
  • 2 cups diced peaches (about 4 medium peeled and diced fresh peaches)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Add about 2 teaspoons of oil to a medium-sized heavy-bottomed skillet or saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, paprika, chile powder, and chipotle chile with sauce and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the peaches and stir for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the bourbon and stir until it is almost evaporated, about another minute.
  5. Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce is thickened and reduced by half, about 30 minutes.
  7. Serve warm or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  8. Note: I happen to like the chunky, jam-like texture of the peaches in the finished sauce. However, if you like a smoother consistency, feel free to run the sauce through the blender once it is cool.
This entry was posted in Salads.