• You know how certain foods seem to appear on the menu of every restaurant you go to? Ahi tuna is one of them. I’m guessing it is related to the popularity of sushi, which seems to have a solid foothold in this country.

    No, that isn’t ahi tuna in my bowl:). It would’ve been ahi tuna had it not been Sunday. Had I been able to go to the fishmonger’s and buy ahi tuna today, I would’ve done so. However, that was not a possibility. So what you see is tuna from a can of Whole Foods 365 brand of white tuna in water.

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Coined by Charles Caleb Colton in 1820 and just as true today. This morning, I visited the blog of gluten-free girl and saw Shauna’s post describing her Seared Tuna Salad. The picture was beautiful and the recipe sounded delicious. Perfect for a Sunday night dinner. Thank you for the inspiration, Shauna!

    The mark of a good teacher, I believe, is one who inspires his/her students to burst forth and move on to new horizons. That’s what happened. I started with gluten-free girl’s recipe and then personalized it, adding my own touches to the original recipe. I didn’t change the aromatic rice mixture. But I added a number of ingredients to the dressing, including Thai Fish Sauce. I will find every excuse to put that salty stuff in everything I possibly can. The vegetables that served as accoutrements to the rice were those that I had in the frig.

    I finally decided to buy a rice cooker. The Zojirushi NH-VBC18 I wanted is priced at about $229. But I erred on the side of frugality and went for the WAY less expensive brand. It is an Aroma rice cooker that I picked up at Target for a lot less money. So far, I am very happy with my purchase. It made two batches of jasmine rice today. 30 minutes start to finish – the best rice I’ve ever made and that ain’t no lie. Light, fluffy, perfect.

    Asian Fusion Salad

    Jasmine Rice (as explained at gluten-free girl’s blog)
    1 cup jasmine rice
    2 cups water
    2 glugs rice wine vinegar (glug: use your imagination)
    1/2 stalk lemongrass
    1 chunk fresh ginger (the size will be from your fingertip to your first knuckle)
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 teaspoon pepper (seems like a lot, but it works)
    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    Combine all the ingredients in your rice cooker. Alternatively you can cook this in a regular pot on the stovetop. Set it on cook. When it is finished cooking, remove the ginger and lemongrass, fluff the rice.

    Asian Fusion dressing
    1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
    1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
    2 teaspoons fish sauce
    1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
    3 teaspoons minced garlic
    3 teaspoons sugar
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
    2 teaspoons diced jalapeno pepper
    pinch white pepper
    pinch red pepper flakes
    1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
    1/4 cup canola oil

    Put everything except for the sesame oil and canola oil into a blender jar. Turn on the blender and begin to pulverize the ingredients. After a few seconds, leaving the blender running, add the sesame and canola oil and mix until emulsified.

    The salad
    romaine lettuce
    cucumber
    carrots
    mushrooms
    red cabbage
    avocado
    beansprouts
    black or white sesame seeds
    one can of tuna, drained and flaked

    Pack some jasmine rice into a one cup measuring cup. Turn it over and gently put it into your salad bowl, arranging all of the other salad ingredients around it. Drizzle Asian Fusion Dressing over the whole thing. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the entire creation.

    Voila! It is a work of art – a magical feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.
    • Anonymous

      What was the rice cooker you were originally eying?

    • Ellen

      The rice cooker I originally wanted was the Zojirushi NH-VBC18 10-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer with Induction Heating System (I made a link at the Asian Salad blog). I have a Zojirushi bread machine which was also quite pricey, but worth every penny! But right now, the Aroma Rice Cooker was much more in line with my budget!

    • Dianne

      Oh yes, that looks really good!

    • Ellen

      Dianne,

      Would you believe we’re going to have a repeat of it tonite? Except that I’m going to try and find the ahi tuna for a treat – it’s my hubbie’s birthday!

    • Slacker Mom

      I also want to make that lovely salad of Gluten Free Girl’s…yours look great too!!!

      I think that the bread machine was worth the money..I can’t imagine a rice cooker being worth that much.

      We have one, it’s so basic and so old..about 10 or 12 years old..I almost wish it would break, I want a new one.

      The thing is, it was SO cheap!

    • Ellen

      I can’t imagine a rice cooker being worth that much either, especially since the one I bought cost $29.99. There was a teensy, tiny little bit of crusty rice on the bottom of the pan, but I can deal with that if it’ll save me $200! But…..I still would’ve liked the other one – it is cool and sleek and looks like something out of the Jetsons:).

    • Lynn Barry

      Ellen,
      You are definitely having a total blast! HUGS and LOVE

    • Ellen

      I would say that is totally accurate Lynn!

    • Shauna

      Ellen!

      I’m so thrilled that you were inspired by the salad I concocted. This is exactly what we wanted — that people would make up their own version and enjoy it completely. It looks good!

    • Ellen

      Thanks Shauna! It will definitely be a regular on our menu in our casa de Allards. I can’t wait to make it for my daughter. She orders it from any restaurant that includes it on their menu – I’m going to show her how easy it is to make at home. Again, thanks for the inspiration.

    • Lisa

      oooh this looks yummy! Will have to add to my list of things to try this week!

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