San Diego and Seared Ahi

After roughing it in the backcountry of Zion and Grand Canyon, Justin and I were ready for some luxury. We arrived in California and drove through the most interesting mountains in the southeastern part of the state. They looked like huge piles of rocks with no vegetation. It was strange to see such rocky, bare mountains.

As we neared San Diego, my excitement increased. We stayed with a cousin of mine that I hadn't seen in years, and had never met her three kids before. Keri welcomed us with open arms, and we had fun hanging out with her family, eating dinner, and making s'mores at the fire pit.

The following morning we went for a little hike along the ocean. The views were pretty amazing and the air was cool; a welcome change from the hot hikes we had been experiencing. The walk was just challenging enough to feel like a workout, but not so much that it felt too rigorous.

We stopped for lunch in Del Mar and ended up at Pacifica Breeze Cafe. Justin and I split two sandwiches: a salmon wrap and a roasted veggie. They were delicious, but my favorite part was the sweet potato chips. I need to learn how to make those!

Dinner that evening was the best meal we had eaten so far on our trip. Keri's husband, Drew, prepared an amazing seared ahi dish that was set on a mound of rice and blanched bok choy. There were two sauces with it -- one was heavy cream and butter (can't go wrong with that !) and the other was a spicy wasabi. Paired with a glass of wine, it was true luxury to be eating good food outside with family.

The recipe is from a restaurant called Roy's Restaurant, which is Hawaiin fusion. They are kind enough to post their recipe online, so here it is! It's not quick, but it is worth it. Team up with a friend and make it together -- you won't regret it.

From Roy's Restaurant

Serves 4 or more


4 Ahi, 7 oz. Block Cut
1/4 cup Blackening Seasoning
1 cup Soy Mustard Sauce
3/4 cup Beurre Blanc
1 oz. Olive Oil
1/2 cup Steamed Rice
1 Baby Bok Choy, 1/2 cut, blanched
2-3 tbsp. Pickled Pink Ginger
1 oz. Daikon Sprouts
1/2 tsp. Black Sesame Seeds, toasted


4 1/2 cups Dry White Wine
2 tsp. White Vinegar
1 tsp. Lemon Juice, squeezed
1 tsp. Shallots, minced
2 tbsp. Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, chopped
1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
Cracked Pepper

Combine the wine, vinegar, lemon juice, and shallot in a heavy stainless-steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook to reduce the liquid until it becomes syrupy. Add the butter, stirring slowly; do not whisk. Take care not to let the mixture boil, or it will separate. When the butter is incorporated, season with salt and pepper to taste, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into the top of a doubler. Keep warm over barely simmering water.


1/2 cup Coleman's Mustard Powder
2 oz. Hot Water
2 oz. Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup Soy Sauce (you can use less)

To prepare the soy mustard sauce, mix the Coleman's mustard and hot water in a bowl to form a paste. Let sit for a few minutes to allow the flavor and heat to develop. Add the vinegar and soy sauce, mix together, and pass through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop.


3 tbsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Ground White Pepper

Mix all of the blackening spice ingredients together on a plate. Dredge the ahi in the spice mixture on top and bottom. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat and sear the ahi for 15 to 30 seconds on top and bottom for rare, 1 minute on each side for medium-rare, or to the desired doneness. Remove the ahi and hold until plating.


2 cups Japanese Short Grain Rice
2 cups Water

Put the rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold running water several times, until the water runs clear. Drain the rice, in a rice cooker, place the rice in the cooker, add water to the 2 cup mark, cover, and turn the cooker on.


For each serving, arrange the steamed rice in the center of the plate with a ring mold or you can freeform the mound. Wrap the blanched baby bok choy around the rice. Place the ahi on top of the rice and baby bok choy. Spoon or drizzle the beurre blanc and the hot soy mustard sauce around the tuna.


Arrange a small mound of the pickled pink ginger on top of the ahi and then place daikon sprouts on top of pickled pink ginger. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the hot soy mustard sauce and beurre blanc.

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Megan said…
Oh Becky, I'm so jealous of your trip but so happy that you get to experience it. It does make me look forward to the very distant days when Eric and I will be on our own once again though....
Rebekah Kuk said…
Justin and I were just wondering when we would ever have the chance to do something like this again -- what with wanting to start a business, among other things. You'll just have to enjoy vacations with the kids for now!