• 1 piece ahi grade tuna, 3/4 pound, cut into log shapes about 4 inches long by 1 ½ inches wide
  • 1/4 cup dark sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup sesame seeds, black and white, toasted in a dry skillet until golden
  • 1/4 package square wonton skins
  • Vegetable or peanut oil for frying
  • 1/2 ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, cut into thin 1/4 inch long pieces
  • Chives, snipped, garnish
  • Procedure
  • 1. Place the tuna in a bowl and coat with the sesame oil and soy sauce. Marinate about 20 minutes.
  • Place the seeds on a baking sheet and dip the tuna in them, turn to coat.
  • 2. Heat a sauté pan over high heat. Lightly brush with vegetable oil. Sauté the tuna for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove to a cutting board and slice against the grain, then cut into cubes.
  • 3. Cut the wontons into triangles. Heat enough oil to come up the side of the pan by 2 inches. When it is hot but not smoking fry the wontons a few at a time for about 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels.
  • 4. Top the wonton triangles with a cube of tuna and spoon a dollop of the wasabi crème on each piece of tuna. Garnish with the papaya and chives.
  • Wasabi Crème Fraiche
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche, sour cream or mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1. Combine the above in a small bowl, taste and adjust seasoning.
A simple and elegant appetizer that is a crowd pleaser. Seared rare tuna sits on top of deep fried wonton triangles- I know, I know, frying is so – well, delicious – but if you prefer to avoid this you can use a crisp rice cracker which are available everywhere now (and I love them). The garnish of wasabi creme fraiche plus a tiny dot of brunoise of papaya and a sprinkling of chives add just the right color and elevate this to restaurant material. But of course, ever so much better.

 

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