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Sashimi tataki – Sam Choy style

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Growing up in Hawaii, we always had sashimi on New Year's. Actually, we ate sashimi all year round and anytime we could, but it simply would not be New Year's without a big plate of sashimi. The sashimi I grew up with was usually eaten pretty plainly. Fresh ahi slices served with some thin sliced cabbage, soy sauce, wasabi and a bit of pickled ginger and you were one happy camper.

Sam Choy takes it up a notch

This recipe is based on Sam Choy's recipe for Furjikake-crusted Sashimi published in The Choy of Seafood, published in 1999. It is a tataki recipe, which means the sashimi is very lightly seared on the outside before slicing. Choy's does two things to his taktaki to make it special.

  1. He rolls the sashimi in furikake, or seasoned nori flakes before searing.
  2. He dresses the top of the sashimi with a fresh cucumber vinaigrette.

Together, they really dress up a plate of sashimi.

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Blackened sashimi

In addition to the furikake, I like to roll the sashimi in a bit of cajun spice, for a blackened sashimi version. I like Chef Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Redfish Magic, but you can use any Cajun seasoning you like.


I like to make a combination platter of both the furikake and blackened sashimi.


See my post on how to peel and grate ginger. A microplane is the best tool for grating ginger. Alternatively you can whirl in a Cuisinart Mini-prep.

Gluten free

If you are restricting gluten, remember, regular soy sauce contains wheat, and therefore, gluten. Fortunately, there is gluten free soy sauce  available in both bottles and in to-go packets. If you are a big gluten free soy sauce user, San-J offers a 64-ounce container at a reasonable price.


Sashimi tataki – Sam Choy style

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A dressed-up sashimi tataki platter is perfect for celebrating New Year’s, or if you are a sashimi lover, perfect for anytime of the year. A light searing and a cucumber vinaigrette elevate this sashimi platter to something really special.


  • 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1” thumb of fresh ginger
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 T wasabi
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 2 pounds sashimi grade ahi
  • 1/4 cup furikake
  • 1/2 ounce Cajun seasoning
  • 5 ounces baby lettuce


  1. To make the vinaigrette, put first three ingredients in a glass mason jar and shake until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Using a box grater, grate the cucumber, with peel, until you have about 1 1/2 cups grated cucumber. Grate the ginger with a mircroplane. Add grated cucumber, ginger and pinch of salt to mason jar and shake again. Put in the fridge and chill for a couple hours.
  3. Slice the ahi into long strips that are about 2″ x 2″ in diameter. The length of the strips will vary depending on the length of your ahi. Put soy sauce and wasabi in a large sealable plastic bag and mix until combined. Add ahi to the bag and squish around so that ahi is completely coated in soy sauce mixture. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Put the furikake on a plate and the cajun seasoning on another plate. Remove the ahi strips from the plastic bag. Roll half of the ahi strips in the furikake and the other half in the cajun seasoning.
  5. Heat a nonstick pan over high heat. Sear the fish for about 30 seconds on all sides. Remove to a cutting board. Using your sharpest knife, cut in thin 1/4″ slices.
  6. Spread lettuce over a large serving platter. Arrange the ahi slices on top of the lettuce. Remove the cucumber vinaigrette from the fridge. Shake to combine. Using a fork, spoon out the cucumber bits over the sashimi, reserving the extra liquid. Serve with chopsticks.





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