Recipe courtesy of John Calloway

Tuna Tataki Salad

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Diced Grilled Watermelon: 

4 ounces rice wine vinegar

1/2 tablespoon chopped ginger

1/2 stalk lemongrass, smashed and chopped 

2 tablespoons sugar

20 ounces seedless watermelon, skin on, sliced 3/4-inch thick, (use center wheel of the watermelon)

Lemon Wasabi Dressing:

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 tablespoon sliced shallot

1 1/2 teaspoons wasabi powder

1 tablespoon water

1-ounce soy sauce

1-ounce lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon mirin

1-ounce rice vinegar

1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon yuzu juice

1-ounce sugar

2 1/2 ounces canola oil


12 ounces fresh ahi tuna, sashimi quality, 4 (3-ounce) portions

2 teaspoons togarashi

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

4 cups mesclun greens

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup daikon sprouts

3/4 cup medium diced jicama

4 tablespoons coarsely chopped wasabi peas

1/2 cup Lemon Wasabi Dressing

1 avocado, pitted and skin removed 

1 avocado, pitted and skin removed

1 1/2 cups diced Grilled Watermelon


  1. For the Grilled Watermelon: In a saucepan, add rice wine vinegar, ginger, lemongrass and sugar, and bring to a boil. Turn it off and let it cool down. Marinate watermelon in this syrup for 2 hours. You must rotate the watermelon every half an hour so all sides get equally marinated. In a hot grill sear each slice of watermelon for 2 minutes on both sides. Remove from grill, take the skin off, cut in large dice and set aside.
  2. For the Dressing: In a saute pan on low heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and slowly caramelize the shallots. In a small bowl dissolve the wasabi powder in the water to create a thick paste. Add all the ingredients except the canola oil into a blender and mix until smooth. With the blender running, add the canola oil in a steady stream to create an emulsion. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days.
  3. For the Tuna and assembly:
  4. Season the tuna portions with togarashi, salt and ground pepper. Sear the tuna in canola oil on all sides and cut each into 5 even slices, set aside. Meanwhile, place the mesclun in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add daikon sprouts, jicama, wasabi peas and Lemon Wasabi Dressing, and toss it. Slice 16 thin avocado slices. Distribute the salad in equal amounts on 4 serving plates. Top with each 4 avocado slices, and arrange slices of tuna on top. Garnish the plate with the diced watermelon around the salad.

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