Sashimi grade yellowfin tuna and smoky bacon? Yes, please!
This appetizer requires the freshest — and I mean freshest — yellowfin tuna you can find. Sashimi means “pierced body”, as the tuna are line caught, then killed instantly with a sharp spike driven through the brain. This method virtually eliminates any build up of lactic acid in the fish’s body and, on ice, will stay fresh for a week or even longer. The fish is traditionally cut in thin strips and served atop an Asian white radish with soy sauce and wasabi. A tribute to the Japanese culture’s appreciation of subtlety, sashimi is widely regarded as the finest dish in the nation. What we’re looking to make today is not sashimi in the traditional sense as our presentation differs, but the quality is the same, and that’s what we’re after.
Poke is a Hawaiian raw salad — with fish — served as an appetizer, so we’re really doing a one-off from the typical poke with our ingredients, most notably, the cooked bacon. Gotta cook the bacon…
- 1 pound yellowfin tuna, diced into ¼ inch pieces.
- ¾ pound of thick-cut smoked bacon, diced.
- ½ cup finely diced red onion.
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger.
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic.
- ½ cup chopped green onion.
- SOY-SESAME DRESSING:
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce.
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil.
- 2 tablespoons water.
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
- 1 teaspoon sea salt.
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper.
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted.
- TO SERVE:
- 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed.
- 16-18 fried wontons.
- Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, water, chili flakes, salt, pepper and sesame seeds in small bowl and whisk well. set aside.
- In a skillet or wok, slowly cook bacon over medium low heat, stirring continuously until 50% rendered. For tender bacon, quit at this stage and drain on paper towel. For crispy bacon, continue until completely rendered, and drain.
- In a large bowl, combine the bacon, tuna, onion, ginger, garlic and green onion. Add the dressing and toss. Season to taste.
- TO SERVE:
- Spoon 1 tablespoon avocado mash on to fried wonton wrapper. Top with bacon-tuna mixture.
To start, fry your wonton wrappers and let them cool. I used square wrappers that I cut into circles, ’cause that’s the kind of guy I am.
While you keep an eye on the wonton wrappers (takes only 15 seconds or so depending on how hot your oil is), cook the bacon. Use really thick-cut smoked bacon for this recipe. I head straight to the meat counter and have the butcher select the best slices. Cut the bacon to size with kitchen shears, then toss into your skillet or wok. I prefer a wok for this recipe.
With your wonton wrappers fried and the bacon cooked and draining on a paper towel, dice the yellowfin tuna. A very sharp knife is your best friend now. Slow and steady here, don’t slice your finger. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.
Starting to look good!
Once thoroughly mixed, begin your assembly. The finished product looks like this:
I will serve these delicious, decadent little morsels at our neighborhood Holiday party this weekend. If you’re looking for an unbelievable appetizer for your holiday bash, stop. Paired with champagne, fume blanc, or pinot noir for the red drinkers, how can you go wrong? You can’t…unless you get the date of your party confused with your next dental appointment.
This recipe is from the great cookbook, I Love Bacon! authored by Joyce Rockmill. It’s a great resource — check it out for other chef inspired bacon delights!