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.

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