This exquisite appetizer repeatedly lured us to a small upcountry restaurant in Maui. We have redefined it to include our own B.C. coastal delicacies. Don’t be dissuaded by the many steps in this recipe. The fun of creating it is worth the effort. Eating it is even better.
3/4 lb in total, sashimi grade tuna* (1/4 lb sliced for sashimi slices and 1/2 lb finely chopped for tartare)
1/4 lb smoked salmon lox (12 slices)
6 cups spicy greens
1/2 cup sliced pickled ginger, for garnish
1 tbsp tobiko (flying fish roe), for garnish*
24 wonton wrappers (Mandarin brand are best)
2 cups vegetable oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp prepared wasabi paste, out of the tube
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
2 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp green onions, chopped
2 tsp tobiko (flying fish roe)
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 pound of the tuna, finely chopped
1 large avocado, finely diced
1 tbsp honey
1/2 lime, juice of
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
Heat one cup of oil in frying pan and when just about smoking, fry half of the wontons for about 8 seconds per side or until just golden brown. Drain them on paper towel and set aside.
Discard this oil and repeat process with the remaining oil and wontons.
Combine all wasabi dressing ingredients in a small food processor or blender and mix until sesame seeds are slightly ground. Place in a squeeze bottle.
Combine mayonnaise, chili garlic sauce, green onions, tobiko and cilantro. Add the chopped tuna and stir lightly to make the tartare.
Mix avocado salsa ingredients together lightly in a small bowl.
Arrange one cup of spicy greens on a serving plate.
Place a wonton on the greens, then one spoonful of the tartare mix, then another wonton, then two slices of the smoked salmon lox, then another wonton, then two slices of the tuna sashimi, then another wonton and finish with one spoonful of the avocado salsa.
Drizzle with wasabi dressing.
Garnish with pickled ginger and tobiko.
An additional layer of mango or papaya salsa makes this tower even more spectacular. The best way to eat this is to smash through the entire tower with a knife and fork, mixing it together a bit to blend the flavours.
*Available at the Fisherman’s Market.