Back in 1961, Tom Rogers of the Leo Burnett Advertising Agency created Charlie the Tuna for the SunKist Tuna brand. Charlie believed his hip and cultured personality made him a fine choice for their canned tuna. But the slogan went “We don’t want tuna with “Good Taste”, we want tuna that taste good”. Down would come the fishing line with the note saying “Sorry Charlie”.

The best tuna available is still line caught. Yellowfin and Ahi Tuna are the leading contenders. In many places they refer to Yellowfin as Ahi Tuna but they are two different species. The recipe I created here is using Ahi Tuna, also referred to as Big Eye Ahi Tuna. The difference between the two species is at what depths of the ocean they live. Yellowfin lives in the higher or shallower warm tropic oceans. The Big Eye lives deep in the coldest part of the tropic ocean. This gives it a higher fat content that creates a richer flavor, making it the preferred choice for sashimi lovers. And those big eyes, give them the ability to see clearly in the cold dark deep waters.

All tuna is graded by initial appearance, size/shape, color, texture and fat content. The grading goes as follow (highest to lowest): 1++, 1+, 2+ and 2. However, there is yet an even finer tuna than the 1++. This is called Ultra Grade and would equal a 1+++ if they had that high of a grading system. It accounts for only 2-3 percent of the entire tuna population.

A Himalayan Salt Plate offers a unique cooking experience. Harvested from ancient salt mines in the far reaches of the Himalayas. The salt imparts a mild flavor, giving your food less salt flavor than if using regular ground salt. They are rich in trace minerals, 82 to be exact. And, because of the salt plates low moisture content, it is able to be brought to extreme temperatures whether hot or cold without breaking. The only trick is to be sure to heat the salt plate very gradually. You can heat it in your oven, grill or on a gas stove top. It takes about 45 minutes to heat your plate. Starting at low temperatures, you gradually increase the heat every 15 minutes, to medium heat. You want your plate to reach 400 degrees before you start cooking on it. You can sprinkle just a drop of water on the plate and if it dissolves immediately, you’re ready to go.

The salt plate also has an extremely low amount of porosity. That means that the surface area touching your food is minimal, picking up minimal amounts of salt flavor. It is important to dry your food before placing on the salt plate. Moisture will absorb more salty flavor.

Unfortunately the day I created this recipe it was one of the few days it rained this summer. I did it on my gas stove top that worked perfect. You can also do it on your grill using the same techniques.

This is such a great recipe if you want to enjoy your company and not be slaving over a stove top or grill. The potato salad can be made ahead. And, other than the time to heat up the salt block, the tuna only takes a couple minutes per side. So enjoy your time with family and friends and “wow” them with a meal in very “Good Taste that Tastes Good”.

Salt Block Seared Ultra Ahi Tuna

Course Main Dish


WASABI POTATO SALAD with Pickled Radishes

  • 2 pounds Yukon or New Potatoes
  • 1 cup Radishes cut into ¼ inch slices then quartered
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Scallions chopped
  • 4 in Scallions cut the green portionto thin slices
  • 2 cups Celery chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Powdered Wasabi or 2 1/2 tablespoons Wasabi Paste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Celery Salt ans Fresh Ground Pepper to taste


  • 6-8 ounce Ultra Grade Ahi Tuna Steaks cut 1 to 1 ½ inches thick (for each individual serving)
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 8x12 inch Himalayan Salt Plate


WASABI POTATO SALAD with Pickled Radishes

  • Cut the potatoes into bit size pieces. Put in a pot of cold water and bring to a gentle boil. Cook until they are fork tender, approximately 10-15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to slow down the cooking process. Refrigerate or set to the side to cool. *It’s OK to mix the potato salad even if your potatoes are luck warm. This will help with the absorption of the dressing. But, do not mix while your potatoes are hot.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, prepare your radishes. In a small bowl, cover your radishes with Rice Wine Vinegar and season with 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir your radishes to ensure the sugar dissolves. Set to the side for 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight. Drain before adding to the salad.
  • To create the twirled scallion garnish, take your four scallions and thinly slice the green portion into 2-3 inch strips. Place in a container with ice water. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • To make your dressing, combine the 4 tablespoons of dry wasabi with just enough water to create a paste. Mix well to ensure there is no dry powder. Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise and wasabi paste in a small bowl. Season the dressing with celery salt and fresh ground pepper. You can adjust the heat by how much wasabi you add to the dressing. Once added to the potatoes it does mellow out. So if you like a little more heat, just add some more wasabi to the dressing.
  • Combine the dressing with the potatoes, drained radishes, celery and scallions. Mix gently to avoid breaking up the potatoes too much. Add additional salt & pepper, if needed.


  • Slowly heat your salt plate, starting at a low temperature on the stove top. Every 15 minutes, increase the temperature slightly till you reach the medium setting (400 degrees on your grill). This should take about 45 minutes. You will know the plate is ready when you sprinkle water on the plate and it dissolves immediately.
  • To avoid over cooking, keep your tuna in the refrigerator till your ready to cook it. Dry off the tuna with paper towel. Season it heavily with fresh ground pepper. You don’t need salt because the salt block does that for us.
  • Sear on each side for approximately 2 minutes. Use a fish spatula to flip the tuna. This helps to break it free of the salt plate and avoids tearing the fish.
  • Cut the tuna immediately into ¼ inch slices. This also helps to stop the cooking to ensure you have a beautiful sear and rare throughout most of the tuna. Can be served warm, room temperature or chilled.