Spicy Grilled Tuna Rolls—a cross between sushi and a lobster roll—always elicits a chorus of “yums” when served. That means I can pretty well guarantee that you will love these on first bite.
Brilliant Daughter brought this recipe to my attention over the summer, and I have fixed it numerous times since, including a small informal dinner party in Charleston in September. I have yet seen a diner walk away unsatisfied. And while they are somewhat costly to make, give the price for quality fresh tuna these days, they are well worth the indulgence. I have also found that it is worth sourcing out King’s Hawaiian or brioche hot dog rolls, for both flavor and presentation.
Quick to fix, you can complete this dish within 30 minutes. Should you have any problem finding wasabi powder for the dressing, you can substitute wasabi paste, both of which should be adjusted for your own palate. The dressing should be slightly hotter than you want, as mixing it in with the blander tuna and avocado will dampen the spiciness.
Spicy Grilled Tuna Rolls
1 pound fresh tuna steak, 1-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, zest grated
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
1 teaspoon soy sauce
5 dashes sriracha
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 firm, ripe Hass avocado, medium-diced
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced scallion, white and green parts
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (black or white)
8 hot dog rolls, grilled or toasted
1 bunch baby arugula, washed and spun dry
Heat a charcoal grill or gas grill. Brush the grill with oil. (It is also perfectly acceptable to cook the tuna indoors in either a grill pan or dry sauté pan. Heat the pan for 2 minutes on high heat, add tuna and cook for no more than 2 minutes a side. )
Brush both sides of the tuna with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook the tuna over the hot coals for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side. (While the tuna should be completely seared on both sides, it should be raw on the inside.) Remove to a plate. Let cool slightly and then cut into ½-inch cubes and place in a medium bowl.
Make the dressing by whisking together olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, wasabi powder, soy sauce, sriracha, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
Add diced avocado, red onion, scallion, and sesame seeds to the tuna. Toss with the dressing.
Toast rolls, line with arugula leaves and fill with the spicy tuna.
Yield: 8 servings