Seared Tuna on Seaweed Salad

This is such an easy, and beautiful appetizer.

I have been thinking up ways to make this appetizer since tasting a similar bite at an event by Brad Steelman, the chef de cuisine at The River Cafe in Brooklyn, NY.
He served fantastic appetizers of seared tuna on seaweed & avocado mash on some sort of sesame crisp.

How can I recreate this at home?


I wasn't really certain what I should use as the base. A thick cut or homemade potato chip? A sesame cracker? A tortilla chip?
All of the above would probably be fine. I wound up buying some light sesame crisps in a gourmet shop and they seemed to be a perfect vehicle for the tuna and seaweed salad.

Start with making the seaweed salad. The green stuff that you get in sushi bars.

Seaweed Salad from

2 oz. ounce dried wakame seaweed (found in Asian markets and some supermarkets)
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
Hot chili flakes
Fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

Soak the wakame seaweed in a bowl of warm water for five minutes. Drain water and pat seaweed dry with paper towels. If needed, cut wakame into thin noodle-like strips. Put seaweed in refrigerator.

Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl. Whisk together until sugar is disolved.
Slowly add the sesame oil and whisk dressing together.
Add seaweed and toss with dressing. Add the sesame seeds and chili flakes to taste.
if it looks dry, you can add some more sesame oil.
*I added chopped cilantro to the recipe.

Now for the tuna.
I bought a 1 lb. ahi sushi grade piece of tuna. I cut it into 3 long rectangles.

Place the 3 rectangle logs in a glass pie dish. Sprinkle a little olive oil over the fish, and roll in kosher salt and 2 tbsp of poppy seeds. Yes, poppy seeds.
I got that idea from Clotilde from Chocolate & Zucchini. She does a great poppy seed crusted seared tuna.

In a non stick skillet, add a little olive oil and cook the tuna logs for about 1 minute on each side, turning only once. They should be very pink inside and just a little white on the outside (I have a bad habit of cooking the tuna that minute too long!).

On a cutting board, slice your tuna into little square shaped slices.

Lay out your sesame crisps or whatever you are using for the base, and with your fingers, put a pinch of seaweed salad on each cracker, then lay a slice of seared tuna on top.

Can be made one hour ahead.


really, really gorgeous, stacey! i just had a wonderful seared tuna for dinner in Philly on saturday and have been craving more. i actually sear my tuna for about 45 seconds on each side b/c i really like mine super-rare. very, lovely.
kat said…
Wow, those are amazingly gorgeous!
Colloquial Cook said…
Very beauteous. I see you left aside the wasabi kick in the butt, which is probably a good thing since it was a little overpowering.
What a lovely presentation and a perfect offering for a spring or summer party. In thinking about what Colloquial Cook said, one option to serve both the wasabi fans and not is to dot every-other piece on the tray with a bit of wasabi mixed with cream. As always, thanks for experimenting and sharing the results.
Dana said…
That looks gorgeous Stacey! I have to make appetizers for 50 for an auction donation and if I wasn't veg I would totally make this!
LaDue & Crew said…
I need to have a party now, this look perfect!
Pam said…
So creative! My tuna loving sister would love this - I'll be forwarding the link to her.
Dewi said…
Very beautiful and delicious. Love seaweed, though I never made it at home, but now I know how to.
Marta said…
Oh I'm so glad to see the recipe for wakame salad... I can eat truckfuls of that and gladly pay the consequences (eating too much of it WILL make your stomach hate you!) Wuitht he seared tuna on top this just looks so gourmet!
Great job!
StaceyEsq said…
My absolute favorite! My son's, too (and he's only 7)! Totally worth the gastrointestinal distress, as Marta so aptly pointed out! Well done (as usual)!
first class! what a stunning appetizer!
John said…
Beautiful, Sta! Epe would love that ... I might have to try and make it for her in six weeks and two days ... :)
lisaiscooking said…
These look fantastic! I want to be served these at a party. Or, right now would be good too.
Kerstin said…
SO gorgeous! And they look delicious!
Anonymous said…
Those are beautiful tuna bites on the seaweed salad! We recently saw seaweed salad on restaurant menu and were very curious about it - thanks for sharing this recipe!
Peter M said…
I would have liked more poppy seeds but still...fab and delish.
oh yum, oh yes! bring it on! that goes on the menu for sure!
wonderful idea!
The JR said…
When I saw this recipe it reminded me that I wanted to learn how to make it. I went to lunch this week with my sister to a sushi bar and ate some there.

Thanks for posting the recipe and now I know how to make it.
Kendra said…
These look absolutely decadent! Thanks for sharing such wonderful creations!
Anonymous said…
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Unknown said…
This looks amazing! Can't wait to try. My favorite place to get yellowfin tuna is Chef's Fresh Fish - you can buy fresh seafood online and it's sushi grade! -
Sue said…
Awesome - big hit at my dinner party ... and super-easy to make