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Plant Based “Tuna Tataki”

A recipe by Alisha Dawn Stoute

Difficulty Level: Medium

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Resting Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 4

Plant Based Tuna Tataki by Alisha Stoute
Download • 365KB

Utensils Needed:

  • pot

  • skillet

  • sharp knife

  • whisk

  • blender

  • mixing bowl

  • spatula / tongs

  • baking tray



  • 1 large watermelon

  • toasted / roasted sesame seeds

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce

  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar


  • 1 head of fresh red fire lettuce

  • touch of olive oil

  • sprinkle of salt

Golden Apple Slaw

  • 6 golden apples, peeled and julienned

  • ½ red cabbage sliced thinly on the mandolin

  • 2 tbsp white vinegar

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • salt & pepper to taste

Scotch Bonnet Ginger Dressing

  • 1-2 scotch bonnet pepper

  • 2 inches ginger

  • 2 limes, juiced & lightly zested

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 large pinches of salt

  • 2 dashes of honey

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • salt to taste

Pickled Red Onions

  • 2 medium red onions

  • Few sprigs of thyme

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 tbsp pink peppercorns

  • 1 tbsp crushed red chili flakes

  • 2 cups white wine vinegar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 ½ tbsp salt

  • 4 tbsp brown sugar


Step 1: Watermelon Prep

Slice the tips of the watermelon off and turn watermelon face up.

Using knife, cut the skin and rind off leaving the red watermelon meat. Don’t throw it away though. You can pickle the watermelon rind! Yum!

Cut the watermelon in half and then cut into rectangular logs like how you would with seared tuna logs. Try to get the part of the watermelon with the least number of seeds. For the watermelon scraps, blend them up, add lime and salt and strain! YUMMY watermelon juice.

When you have four decent sized logs prepped, season and marinate them with the sesame oil, soy sauce & rice vinegar.

Step 2: Golden Apple Slaw

Toss your julienned golden apple with the thinly sliced red cabbage and season well with salt and pepper. Add your white vinegar & olive oil. Taste. Add more salt if it falls flat. Depending on your taste, you can drizzle some honey or agave. I like it almost like a chow!

Step 3: Pickled Red Onions

Slice your red onions like a larger julienne or batonnets. Place into a jar that fits them and add the sprigs of thyme and fresh garlic & peppercorns & chili flakes in there as well.

Bring the water, vinegar salt & sugar to a boil. Pour into jar over onions and aromatics. Put the cover on but do not seal or twist it. Let cool to room temperature then you can take the onions you need for the dish and close it up and put it in the fridge. These will be great additions to salads, sandwiches etc.

Step 4: Scotch Bonnet Ginger Dressing

In a blender combine the above ingredients for the dressing except for the oil and the coriander. Blend and slowly pour in the oil to emulsify the vinaigrette.

Finish by whisking in the chopped fresh coriander. I used the seeds of the scotch bonnet because I like the spice! You can omit if you like it less spicy.

Season with salt at the end.

Step 5: Searing Watermelon

Turn the flame under your skillet onto a medium high flame and let it get really nice and hot.

Pat your watermelon logs dry on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and cornstarch and sesame seeds on each side (like how you’d season a tuna log minus the cornstarch).

When almost smoking, add some veg oil to the skillet and sear the watermelon logs one at a time on each of the four long sides. You will sear these maybe longer than you would tuna as you don’t run the risk of over-searing or over-cooking them. What you do want is some caramelization, hard sear. When that is achieved on all four sides you can remove to a chopping board to slice.

(If you were doing this ahead, you could freeze slightly to get a firmer and cleaner cut when you slice then let it come down to room temp again)

Step 6: Assembly

Toss your leaves with olive oil & salt. Lay on bunch on corner of the plate. Top with a beautiful curled bunch of your pickled onions.

Place the golden apple slaw in a line toward one edge of the plate just like in the photo. Spread your watermelon slices fanning out into a line from each other and using a knife, transfer onto the knife blade and onto the golden apple slaw on the plate. Pour a little of the marinade over the sliced watermelon.

Sprinkle a touch of salt over the watermelon at this stage, more sesame seeds is you like.

Spoon the sauce onto the side of the plate where the lettuce and slaw would create a pool of the dressing.


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