taco time…

I stopped by my favorite fishmonger this afternoon wanting fresh seafood. Although I didn’t have anything specific in mind, deep down I was really hoping for sashimi-grade fish.

As soon as I walked in, John greeted me by announcing he had fresh ahi AND salmon. The huge smile on my face signaled John to go ahead and wrap a pound of each for me. He asked what my plans were for the fish and I responded with a shrug of my shoulder.

Most likely, I told him, they would be sliced thin for sashimi. He agreed wholeheartedly and gave me an approving “thumbs up.” But then as I thought out loud, I mentioned I might chop up the ahi and make some of my Wicked Ahi.

His eyes lit up and without any hesitation went to the back room.  As if magically, he reappeared immediately and handed me a Ziplock bag filled with what looked like ahi pieces. Score!

The cut-up ahi, he explained, were left over from trimming the larger chunks of ahi. Although there was nothing wrong with them, they were not considered saleable. He suggested to save the ahi for my sashimi or sushi and not waste its quality by hacking it to pieces. It was tough to argue with logic such as that!

Like a kid on Christmas morning, I drove home giddy with excitement. I decided to do something different (and fun) with the chopped ahi. There was only one thing I knew I must make: Mini Ahi Tacos.

The “tacos” are my take on my favorite Baja-style fish tacos. A definite fusion of east and. south, these tacos combine the flavors of sushi with the textural factor of the taco.

Instead of crispy breaded white fish, raw ahi would take its place. Fried wonton wrappers would give the tacos the crunch texture. A “slaw” of shredded scallions, julienned carrots, and minced garlic provided a flavor counter balance and sushi rice gave it the familiar taste. Finally, I topped the tacos with tobiko (flying fish roe) to simulate the cheese on normal tacos.

A wasabi-soy dipping sauce and gari (pickled ginger) were served on the side. Every bite was like an explosion of different flavors and textures. Not only was it yummy, my tacos were definitely fun to eat as well.

Ahi Tacos

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