Downtown Chef Spices Up Summer Greens

Waterman's Alex Lombardo shows us how seared ahi can complement a summer salad.

Hermosa Beach Patch is profiling a series of local chefs who have agreed to share their favorite summer recipes: 

Sizzling under the heat of oil, the tuna's exterior quickly turned a caramel brown. Moments later, executive chef Alex Lombardo proudly displayed the finished dish: ahi salad with ponzu sauce.

At Watermans Safe House for Surfers, fresh ingredients and tropical flavors are the restaurant's theme, Lombardo said.

On top of a full bar, patrons get to enjoy a vast menu that includes such items as Hawaiian Rainbow Tiger Shrimp. But to beat the summer heat? Lombardo recommends the seared ahi Indo salad.

Indo Salad

1 pound sushi-grade ahi (yellowfin tuna)

Lemon pepper spice for dipping

1 bunch wild arugula

1 avocado wedge

1/3 cup diced tomatos

1/4 cup pickled ginger

1 lemon wedge

olive oil

pinch of black and white sesame

Coat both sides of the ahi in lemon pepper spice. Add oil to the pan and heat on high. Wait until the oil is hot then sear the ahi for 30 seconds to a minute on each side, making sure the coating turns caramel brown.

Cut the ahi into eight or nine quarter-inch slices, then place on a plate garnished with a banana leaf, if desired. Add arugula, diced tomatoes, avocado wedge and pickled ginger to the plate along with the ponzu sauce dip. Pour a small amount of lemon juice and olive oil over the arugula and finish with the sesame garnish.     

Ponzu Sauce

1 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)

2 cups soy sauce

1 cup lime juice

Pour the mirin into a pot and heat until about half of the liquid evaporates. Add the soy sauce and lime juice. Bring the mixture back to a boil and heat for two minutes. Make sure to chill the sauce before serving.


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