Grilling ahi tuna tacos in the park

It's on my Summer Bucket List to picnic outside a bunch, and so far, I've been doing pretty well! This was an especially fun one because we took Jon's old convertible to Canandaigua Lake and set up camp at one of the park's grills and picnic tables. We had prepped stuff for Asian-Mexican fusion tacos beforehand and just packed it all in a cooler with a couple of beers and ciders (this is my new favorite). All we had to bring along were plates, cloth napkins (although wet naps would have been ideal), a knife (which we forgot so we had to cut our tuna steak precariously with a jackknife), a fish spatula, tongs, some charcoal, a lighter, and a blanket for lounging. We realized that although tacos don't jump to mind as picnic food, they totally are. 

With a pretty view of the lake and all the feels of summer, this was such a fun Monday night. Naturally, we had to get ice cream after. All the families and kids in their soccer uniforms gave us such nostalgic feelings and memories of having those same rituals when we were little. It's these kinds of things that make me so thankful for where I live and the kind of village in which I grew up. 

On a different note, these ahi tuna tacos were one of the best things we've ever made. We asked ourselves a thousand times, Why don't we have ahi tuna more often? While it's certainly not an inexpensive variety of fish, it becomes more reasonable when used in tacos because a little goes a long way. When marinated, grilled to perfection, and topped with an incredible jicama slaw and spicy crema, it creates a seriously dynamite taco. I actually can't wait to use the slaw in other recipes, as well.

Ahi tuna tacos

1 ahi tuna steak
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp canola oil
1 T soy sauce
2-3 drops fish sauce
⅛ tsp red curry paste
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger zest
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Zest of one lime
Freshly cracked black pepper
Corn taco shells (plus a tiny bit of sesame oil for coating, and a touch of salt for sprinkling)
Spicy crema (recipe below)
Fusion jicama slaw (recipe below)

Place ahi tuna steak in a Ziplock bag or small dish. In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients and whisk together until emulsified. Pour marinade over the tuna and swish around until coated well. Place in the fridge and marinate for up to a day (24 hours). Grill over very hot coals for about a minute per side until it gets a really good sear but is still entirely rare in the center.

Very lightly coat the taco shells in sesame oil, and heat them on the grill until light grill marks appear but they are still mostly soft. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Build tacos with a few small pieces of tuna, a drizzle of spicy crema, and topped with a big spoonful of slaw. Serve with extra lime wedges and hot sauce.

Spicy crema

½ cup mayonnaise
1 T Sriracha sauce
Zest of one lime
Juice of one lime
½ tsp Old Bay seasoning
Pinch of salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and store in fridge until ready to use on tacos.

Fusion jicama slaw

1 T rice wine vinegar
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
4 dashes fish sauce
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp sugar
1 radish, julienned
1 jicama, julienned
¼ sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 Serrano pepper, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
½ avocado, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp sesame seeds
Pinch of salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper

In a bowl, combine vinegars, oils, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar, and whisk to emulsify. In a large bowl, combine all of the other ingredients. Pour dressing over top and fold gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in fridge until ready to use on tacos (could be made a few hours ahead).