Tuna Tostadas to Make at Home


I’ve been frequenting Monterey Bay Fish Grotto on Mt. Washington quite a bit recently, as it’s a delightful spot for seafood and cocktails. I’ve gotten to sample a variety of dishes from its menu and my favorite by far is the seared ahi tuna. I had never had tuna before when I tried this dish, and I can’t believe what I’ve been missing. This dish ignited my love for tuna and now I love it seared, poke-style, or as sashimi, and I wanted to see if I could create my own unique dish.


Monterey Bay’s ahi tuna is served with poke sauce, pickled cucumbers, and pickled ginger. I wanted to try some different flavors and my mom suggested creating a tuna tostada. She had recently sampled a seared ahi tuna tostada at Con Alma’s downtown location (sadly, they have since changed their menu). A tostada inspired me to incorporate some spicy elements into my ahi tuna dish and from there everything came together naturally.


I started by air frying corn tortillas until they were as crispy as chips. Once my base was completed, I worked on the other elements. I was most worried about searing the tuna, because I’d never done it before. After coating the tuna in olive oil and salt, I turned the heat up to high and let my pan heat up. Once it was hot enough (which only took a minute or two), I seared the ahi tuna steak on each side for three minutes. This worked for me, but you may have to change your cooking time depending on the thickness of your tuna. This meat is sashimi grade, so it’s totally fine for it to be barely cooked. It’s preferable even, so you can savor the flavor of this high quality fish.


Mangos are in season, so I made a salsa with fresh mangos, jalapeños, cilantro, green onion, red pepper, and lime juice. I knew all of these items would pair perfectly with fresh fish. I’m a big sauce girl, so I created an aioli with mayonnaise, chipotle peppers in adobo, and lime juice to top the finished tuna. I added some avocado for creaminess, thinly sliced radish for crunch, and even more cilantro on top for a touch of freshness. All of the flavors and textures came together harmoniously.


Tuna is a perfect fish to experiment with as it pairs with so many ingredients quite naturally and it can be prepared a variety of ways. I’m already dreaming up new dishes I can create with tuna as the star.

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