Our culinary exploration of Oahu’s fish auction and farmer’s market sent us homeward bound to our big kitchen in an historic home on the hill above Honolulu (now an Airbnb rental.)   We were blessed by our bounty and promptly made the best of it with Chef Debbie Thomas of Dinner is Served RI leading the way.

Chef Debbie begins by creating a marinade for the 4 lb hunk of fresh ahi.

Ahi with Soy/Honey/Wasabi Dipping Sauce

Equal parts Honey and Soy Sauce (we used 1/2 cup each)

Wasabi powder or paste to taste

To cook the ahi, marinate for 20-30 minutes in the above sauce.

Oil the grill and get it very hot.

Sear all sides of the tuna for about 30-45seconds per side.

You can roll the tuna either before or after searing in chopped pistachios or toasted sesame seeds.

Let tuna rest for 10-15 minutes covered.

Slice very thin and serve with the dipping sauce on the side. I highly recommend the persimmon salsa on the side.

She then created pickled onions as a side option to bring some tang to the table.

Pickled Onions

Red onion, sliced very thin                           ½ c water                            ½ c red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp sugar                                                       1 tsp salt


Place onions in a glass jar.    Wisk remaining ingredients together and pour over the onions.

Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.    The onions will store for 2-3 months if kept cold.


While the tuna and onions are chilling and absorbing juices, we created the accompanying salsa adapting a recipe from our traditional mango salsa.  All ingredients can be adjusted to taste but be sure to balance the moderately sweet persimmons with some form of pepper or at least red onion if you are not a fan of heat.

Mix all together and let chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator to mingle the ingredients.

A note about persimmons:  generally, you want to look for Fuyu persimmons that resemble the shape and sheen of beefsteak tomatoes.  Fuyu persimmons are ripe when firm and crisp.    The other variety commonly found is larger and shaped like an acorn but very sour and astringent when eaten.

Serve all of the above with pickled ginger and a simple kale and broccoli salad with poppyseed dressing to let the ahi take center stage and revel in your Hawaiian meal!

For more information on recipes and to contact Chef Debbie Thomas, www.facebook.com/DinnerIsServedRI/