Tag Archives: rice

Seared Ahi Sushi!


Do you like sushi? I don’t! My problem is that I have an aversion to the nori (seaweed) that is wrapped on the outside, I really don’t like the way it smells or tastes. That being said, I LOVE seared tuna. In order to combine the two a friend (soon to be introduced on this blog) and I embarked on an adventure to make seared ahi tuna rolls. Mine were made without seaweed and his were the traditional roll, but both were amazing!


The reason for searing the tuna (at least in our case) was that we had bought it a few days before and frozen it, meaning it was no longer safe to eat raw. We first marinated it and then seared it for 2 minutes on each side. We had a single 1/3 lb tuna steak that was more than enough for the 2 of us, so although sushi and sashimi grade tuna can be expensive when bought by the pound it is relatively reasonable for a few servings.


You could use almost any crunchy green veggie in these rolls. We used celery, but green beans or cucumber would have also worked well. The marinade was really simple and even letting the tuna marinate for only an hour gave it so much flavor! Searing is a quick process, so make sure to do it well. Have the pan really hot with just a little bit of oil in the bottom.

Seared Ahi Roll


1/3 lb tuna steak
1 batch marinade (see recipe below)
1 cup uncooked sushi rice, cooked per package instructions
2 ribs celery, cut in 1/2 the long way
3 sheets nori (sushi-rolling seaweed)
drizzle of vegetable oil
small dish of water for sealing the rolls
soy sauce and wasabi paste for dipping

Special equipment: bamboo rolling mat

Marinate tuna tightly covered in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Sear tuna in a hot pan with a drizzle of vegetable oil to keep it from sticking, approximately 2 minutes each side. Have all components ready to go when you put the tuna in the pan so that you can assemble everything while the tuna is still hot. When the tuna is done, cut it into 4 lengthwise strips, and then cut each of those strips lengthwise again so that they look like the slices in the top photo. Lay 1 sheet of seaweed onto the mat and spread 1/3 of the cooked rice all over the sheet except for a 1-inch border at the top. Lay 2 slices of tuna and 1 piece of celery lengthwise along the bottom of the rice. Using your finger, dab water along the top border and then roll the sushi shut, using the wet seaweed edge as a seal. Repeat for the next 2 sheets. Using a sharp knife, cut each roll into bite-size pieces. Put soy sauce and whatever amount of wasabi you like into a small dish, dip, and enjoy!

Tuna Marinade
for a 1/3 lb tuna steak
Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 TBSP canola/vegetable oil
1 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 TBSP of diced pickled ginger (or grated fresh, if you have it)
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 green onion (scallion) thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 lime


La Serena Chicken Soup


This is a soup made out of necessity. We were a bunch of hungry girls stuck in a desert that was experiencing record breaking rains. It was cold. What do you do when you are cold and wet? Make soup!

It’s sort of a cross between chicken and rice soup and tortilla soup, it was born of what left-over vegetables we had, plus a little supplemented chicken, and what we could find/utensils available to us in our hostel’s kitchen. It turned out better than any of us could have expected!

La Serena Chicken Soup
the brainchild of Erin Milliren

Bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (2 thighs, 3 legs)
1 1/2 yellow onions
1 green pepper
2 carrots
3-4 medium tomatoes
2-3 cups uncooked rice (based on personal preference, we may have even used more)
1 chili pepper (anaheim, poblano, jalapeno, etc)
3 cloves garlic
Juice of 2 limes
Vegetable Oil

Cilantro, avocado, and slice lime for garnish. You could also use sour cream or cheese, but we didn’t have any.

Dice/slice all your veggies, but keep them separate. Leave as much of the chili pepper’s membrane and seeds in as you like (the more membrane and seeds the spicier the soup will be).

Heat some oil in a stock pot. Add minced garlic and 1/3 of the diced onion. Brown slightly. Add chicken pieces and brown those. When browned, add enough water to cover the chicken by about 1 inch (we also added some cilantro stems at this stage, I don’t know if it made a difference), boil until chicken is cooked, about 7-10 minutes after the water starts boiling. Remove chicken (and any cilantro stems you may have added), set aside to cool. Add rice, green and chili pepper, sliced carrots, and the juice of 2 limes to the stock pot, cook until rice is fully cooked, about 20 minutes.

At the same time as you add the rice to the stock pot: Heat a splash of oil in a separate pan. Once this oil is hot add the rest of the diced onion and the diced tomatoes (juices, seeds, and all). Simmer covered until tomatoes have disintegrated.

While these things are cooking, remove the skin and fork-shred the chicken.

Once the rice has cooked add the tomato/onion mixture and the shredded chicken to the rice/veggie/stock mixture. Bring back to a simmer. Serve with garnish as desired.