Charred Confit of Ahi


charred ahi filet

Recipe by: Chef James McDonald of Pacifico, Io, Oo Farms, and Feast at Lele

Yields: 6 portions


  • 6 4-oz. ‘ahi blocks
  • 2 Tbsp. blackening spice
  • 1 c. heirloom carrots, sliced thin
  • 3 1/8 c. canola oil
  • 1/2 c. heirloom carrot, julienned
  • 3 oz. olive oil
  • 4 c. carrot juice, warm
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, soft
  • 1/2 c. watermelon radish, julienned
  • 1/2 c. mint, loosely packed
  • 2 c. Arborio rice
  • 12 kaffir lime leaves, rough chopped
  • 1/2 c. Asiago cheese, shredded
  • black Moloka‘i sea salt, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. shallot, minced

Mint Oil: Purée mint with 1 c. canola oil in blender or food processor. Steep for 24 hours, strain and store in an airtight jar until ready to use

Kaffir Lime Leaf Oil:  Heat 2 c. canola oil and lime leaves over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and store at room temperature for at least 24 hours before using. Store in an airtight jar for future use

Carrot Risotto: Heat olive oil and 2 Tbsp. butter in a pot over medium heat. Add shallots and rice and stir about 1 minute, until rice is well coated. Add carrot juice a little at a time until absorbed by rice, approximately 10 minutes. Stir in sliced carrots, cheese and remaining butter. Season to taste and serve immediately with ‘ahi medallions.

Seared ‘Ahi: Dust ‘ahi with blackening spice on two opposite sides. Sear those sides in a pan over medium-high heat in 1/8 c. (2 Tbsp.) canola oil. Remove ‘ahi from pan and place in a small pot with the kaffir oil over low heat, approximately 120 degrees, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove ‘ahi from oil and slice into medallions.

Plating: Place medallions over 1 c. risotto per portion, drizzle with mint oil, and garnish with julienned carrot, radish and a sprinkle of sea salt. Serve immediately.


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