Japanese Tuna Salad With Bonito Dressing

Japanese Tuna Salad With Bonito Dressing

Pete Evans

Celebrity Paleo Chef


This recipe is one of those dishes that looks a lot harder than it actually is and is extremely satisfying to prepare. Seared or raw sashimi-grade fish – such as wild sustainable tuna, salmon or kingfish – teamed with a simple salad and an intoxicating dressing is just a starting point. From here you can add avocado, soft-boiled egg, toasted nori, kelp noodles, togarashi (a Japanese chilli and sesame seed seasoning) or perhaps some fermented daikon or a dollop of Asian flavoured mayonnaise.

2 tablespoons dried wakame
500 g sashimi-grade tuna, cut into 4 long fillets
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Lebanese cucumber, finely sliced lengthways using a mandoline, then cut in half lengthways (discard the seeds)
2 large handfuls of mizuna leaves *
1 handful of baby shiso leaves
2 spring onions, julienned
1 nori sheet, cut into thin strips 5 cm long

For the bonito dressing
3 tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon coconut sugar or honey
2 tablespoons bonito flakes
½ tablespoon mustard powder
½ onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon macadamia oil
3 teaspoons sesame oil

1 To make the dressing, combine the tamari or coconut aminos, vinegar, lemon juice, coconut sugar or honey and bonito flakes in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
2 Meanwhile, place the wakame in a bowl filled with cold water and soak for 15 minutes, or until the wakame has expanded. Drain off the water and place on paper towel to soak up any excess moisture.
3 Strain the dressing through a sieve and press all the liquid through.
4 Discard the bonito flakes. Add the mustard powder, onion, macadamia oil and sesame oil and mix until well combined.
5 Rub the tuna with the coconut oil and season with salt and pepper.
6 Heat a barbecue plate or chargrill pan to hot and cook the tuna for 30 seconds on each side, or until lightly golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.
7 Mix the wakame, cucumber, salad leaves and spring onion in a large bowl and gently toss through half of the dressing. Add a little sea salt if needed.
8 Arrange the salad on serving plates or a large platter. Using a very sharp knife, slice the tuna into 5 mm thick slices and place on top of the salad. Spoon the remaining dressing over the tuna and salad, then sprinkle with the nori and serve.

* Mizuna is a herb with a peppery flavor that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine. It is available from Asian grocers. If you can’t find mizuna, use baby rocket leaves instead.

The Carousel thanks Luke Hines, from The Paleo Way for this recipe