I was devastated when all of our beloved Dungeness crabs became toxic and inedible and we realized that crab season this year was not going to happen. Dungeness crab is a mainstay at every New Year’s Eve celebration I’ve had for the past too many years to count. So, it was important for me to try to figure out something that would be just as worthy...something memorable and exceptional, and something that would take everyone’s mind off the fact that they were not eating succulent, buttery, sweet crab this New Year’s.
Enter ahi tuna. I love ahi tuna poke. And I adore the crispy ahi tuna poke tacos at Gott’s, the burger place in the San Francisco Ferry Building. In fact, I love those tacos so much that I don’t remember the last time I actually ate a burger there. At the risk of tipping everyone off to this fact, they are SO. EFFING. GOOD.
So I thought, why not take that dish and turn it into a bite-sized, easy to throw back appetizer? And here, after lots of experimentation, is my ode to Gott’s tacos, in bite-sized form. OMG, I cannot tell you how good these are. They might seem like a lot of work, but if you love your friends, if you love your family, hell, if you love yourself, I urge you to make these. I don’t even want to tell you how many I stuffed into my face after making these.
If you can find mini tostadas, by all means buy them! The only reason I fried mine here was because I couldn’t find any, plus I wanted to be sure you knew how to do that. Once you assemble these, they should be served at once. Not that that should be a problem.
Recipe: Ahi Tuna Mini Tostada Bites
Makes 21 mini tostadas
- Seven 6 1/2 inch corn tortillas
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1/2 lb raw sushi grade ahi, cut into small cubes
- 1 1/2 tbsp ponzu sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tsp sambal oelek (fresh chile paste), or to taste
- 2 packed cups finely shredded green cabbage
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ripe avocado
- Lime wedges
- To make mini tostadas, using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut 3 rounds out of each tortilla (you should end up with 21 rounds). Warm about 1/2 inch of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the tortilla rounds until crisp then transfer to a wire rack lined with paper towels and set over a baking sheet to drain. Set aside.
- In a bowl, stir together the ahi, ponzu, and sesame oil; cover and refrigerate. In another bowl, stir together the mayo and sambal oelek; cover and refrigerate. In a third bowl, stir together the cabbage and cilantro, then sprinkle with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
- For each tostada, spread a little of the mayo mixture on the tostada shell. Top with about 1 tbsp of the ahi mixture, then top with the cabbage slaw, and a slice of avocado. Serve with the lime wedges alongside for squeezing. Serve at once.