Romantic Dinner for Two – Sushi Grade Tuna (that we caught), Jasmine Lime Rice and Salad with Ginger Dressing

I had high hopes for adding great food pics and recipe ideas culled through our travels these last 10 days. Our dinners in Costa Mesa with friends were casual and delicious, Lucille making pesto chicken (Yummy) and quick and easy eating otherwise, nothing to write home about. Except the Pho we had in a little strip mall on the edge of “Little Vietnam,” with broth that was so rich and flavorful.

Then we flew to Kona and stayed with friends who had invited us to join them at King’s Land by Hilton Vacation Club. We love ethic foods, Asian cuisine, in particular, and with the multi-culturalism which abounds in Hawaii, we expected great things. That said, one of our party is a very meat and potatoes person, eating just salmon, and ate steak and fries most of the time. Regardless of his food interests, we found a couple of things — everything on the grounds of this resort are overpriced to the point of being obscene.  A couple of examples. A loaf of bread on the grounds, $6.99, at the Safeway, $4.99 and at the KTA which we found on Wednesday night, $3.99. Meds I needed for the asthma caused by the VOG, $15.99 on the grounds, $9.89 at the KTA. Also, our restaurant experiences were disappointing at best and upsetting at worst. We did go to Bamboo, in Hawi (View Clash of the Grandma’s, Season 1, Episode 5 – available on YouTube). Joan is the owner of Bamboo where food was excellent, atmosphere homey and inviting, and waitstaff superbly personable. Would highly recommend and the best meal we had until tonight.

Our resort suite was a master suite with private bath, living room, kitchen, dining area and 2nd bedroom with hall bath.

We purchased food and ate in for breakfast, and a couple of lunches – including making lunch for our 6 hour fishing trip. Which is how we arrived to the menu for tonight. Captain Guy and his first mate, Chase, took us out into the Pacific on the High Flyer for a wonderful day of napping, fishing, catching and socializing, and dolphin watching. I was already feeling the effects of the VOG though not aware of what it was, and hadn’t slept much the night before. Our adventure began at 6am, so we were on the road to the harbor by 5:15. Needless to say, I slept really peacefully and soundly with the gentle motion of the boat, while Mike, Cindy and Lee fished. Cindy caught the first yellow fin from the fight chair, Lee caught the 2nd that we were able to land using a pole off the side, and Mike brought in the next from the fight chair which was about 45#. Ultimately we caught 6 yellow fins which were large enough to keep and one beautiful spear fish. Because we were on vacation, and had limited eating time remaining and Lee wouldn’t even hear of tasting it, we had just one fish filleted and left the rest with Captain Guy to sell and/or enjoy.

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Now came the fun part. This isn’t my well stocked chef’s kitchen. We had salt and pepper, some salad dressing, part of a lime, butter and some wine. We had lettuce and fresh brocolli that hadn’t been eater earlier, and we wanted to make a great meal. So, here goes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4# FRESH, Sushi grade yellow fin tuna in a single hunk
  • 2 small plastic thingies of soy sauce from the take out restaurant
  • 2 tbsp. dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp. of Makoto Ginger Dressing
  • Optional (meaning, we wish we had some), wasabi

Using a large zip lock bag, we marinated the tuna in the marinade for just 15 minutes.

Again, we were using what we had, so, in a stainless steel skillet, I melted 2 tbsp. sweet, unsalted butter (a dab of sesame oil would have been great), until it was bubbly but not browning. I used paper towels to dry the tuna and tossed the marinade. I seared the tuna, about 90 seconds a side, turning it 2 times since the piece we had was triangular. I immediately removed from the pan and put it onto a cutting board.

NOTE: Fresh, sushi grade tuna can be served raw as sashimi, with rice, wrapped in nori as sushi, or seared, but please, please, please, and oh yes, please, do not cook it through as you would a white fish. It should be pink/red in the middle. It will be delicious, tender and sweet.

Using tongs to hold the filet, I then cut thin, about 1/4″ slices, through the seared sides.

I served it with brown jasmine rice seasoned with a splash of white wine, juice of 1/2 lime, and zest of 1/2 lime (patiently sliced by hand since my zester was 6000 miles away), 1 tsp. of salt, 1/2 tsp. of black pepper and 1 tbsp. of sweet unsalted butter — cooked according to the package directions, 1 C rice to 1 1/2 C liquid.

And as a vegetable, we had mixed green salad with the same Makoto Ginger Dressing I used in the marinade.

Mike and I enjoy some inexpensive Pinot Grigio with our dinner, and although I’m a little uncomfortable saying it, it was the best meal we’ve had the entire trip.

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Cindy and Lee have left, and Mike and I have one more day on the Island and will be celebrating my birthday by taking a Grand Circle Tour and hope to have lots of pics of lava tunnels, Volcano National Park, the black beaches, waterfalls…., and then fly out on the red eye heading home.

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