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Seared Ahi Tuna

Champagne gelée, ‘sugar baby’ watermelon, jalapeno water


  • 8 oz. fresh center cut tuna loin, block cut – ask your butcher or fishmonger
  • 1 small sugar baby or other seedless watermelon, peeled
  • 3 tbl mixed white and black sesame seeds
  • 2 tbl togarashi spice
  • salt
  • ¼ cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 4 slices Champagne gelée, recipe follows
  • 6 oz. jalapeno water, recipe follows
  • 8 leaves watercress

Cut watermelon into even 2 inch blocks. Season the tuna block with salt. Heat two sauté pans to very hot and starting to smoke, add 2 tbl oil to both pans. Add tuna to one pan and watermelon to the other. Cook watermelon on one side, flip and remove to a plate. Watermelon should be quick and be brown on the outside but cool in the middle. Turn tuna every 20 seconds and sear all sides. Remove tuna to a bowl, toss with sesame seeds and togarashi spice. Let the tuna rest while plating the garnish. Ladle 1.5 oz. chilled jalapeno water into shallow bowls. Place seared watermelon in bowl. Decorate with watercress. Sliced tuna with a very sharp knife into 8 slices and shingle a slice of Champagne gelée in between 2 slices of tuna. Place atop the watermelon and serve.


Jalapeno Water

  • 2 cups chopped cucumber – with skin on
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and stem removed
  • juice of ½ lemon and ½ lime
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbl white soy sauce or 1 tsp salt – do not use a dark soy sauce
  • ½ green apple, chopped

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend on high until very smooth, take the time and let it run. Strain through two layers of cheesecloth.


Champagne Gelée

  • 325 grams Champagne
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 10 grams low acyl gellan gum

Bring Champagne and sugar to a simmer. Place in blender and with machine running add gellan gum. Quickly pour onto a flat sheet pan. Cut into 1” by 1” portion sizes.