Seared Ahi Tuna with Roasted Yams, Endive Salad and Wasabi Mustard Sauce

When my wife and I visited Hawaii a couple of years ago, one of the foods we fell in love with was poke – the Hawaiian version of sushi in some ways, using raw or barely-cooked fish typically mixed with other ingredients like sweet onion or cabbage and simple soy-based sauces. Ahi tuna (aka yellowfin or Hawaiian tuna) is one of the common fish used for poke, and is deliciously melty when eaten rare or just seared long enough to form a flavourful crust over a rare, red interior. Duke’s restaurant makes amazing ahi tuna poke rolls that I loved, and I wanted to use some elements of that dish in my own first attempt at using ahi. Most of the recipe here though is taken from this post from

Ahi Tuna


300g (10 oz) ahi tuna, cut into two 1-inch-thick steaks
2 medium yams, peeled and roughly sliced
1 endive
1/4 of a sweet onion, finely diced
2 green onions, diced
1 lemon
Salt and pepper

For the sauce:
2 tsp wasabi mustard
4 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbls soy sauce
2 tsp water

Make the salad first – I didn’t and had time to regret it as my yams cooled! Peel the outer leaves off the endive and chop off the stalk end, then cut it in half lengthways and chop into half-round pieces. Put the pieces in a bowl, then dice your sweet onion and green onion and mix everything together. Squeeze half a lemon over the salad, add a bit of extra-virgin olive oil and combine.

To cook the yams, start with a pan you can use in the oven – I used a cast-iron pan. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use 1-2 tbls of olive oil, and saute the chopped yam at a medium-high heat for 5 minutes or so with a little bit of salt and pepper, turning a few times, then put the whole pan in the oven for another 12 minutes.

Now you can sear the tuna while the yams are in the oven. This part is really easy! You want the steaks to be an inch or so thick, so cut them up if necessary. Season the fish with some salt and pepper on both sides, and heat up some oil in a pan at a medium-hot heat. Drop in some butter (I used 2 tbls or so for two pieces of fish), let it melt and then drop in the tuna. You want to sear the top and bottom for about a minute, and I liked to sear each edge for a few seconds too just for show.

Finally, the wasabi mustard sauce. I had the hardest time finding “wasabi mustard” – I did finally find some by Inglehoffer in Urban Fare here in Vancouver but I’m pretty sure horseradish mustard is a perfectly fine substitute. Combine the wasabi mustard, mustard, soy sauce and water in a bowl and mix until smooth and even. I found that the quantities above made about twice as much as we needed so I’ll halve the recipe next time.

For a first try everything came out great and the tuna was delicious with the sauce. In terms of cost, the tuna was $18 and everything else around $6, so that makes it about $12 per person – not really cheap but very nice to treat yourself at the weekend!

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