`Ahi in Coconut Milk Sauce

A SEAFOOD RECIPE FOR YOUR ISLAND PĀ`INA

Another recipe to enhance your reading of the Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mysteries  

  

`Ahi is a delicate white fish [yellowfin tuna] featured on many Island menus. I mention it often in the Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mysteries. The following recipe is an adaptation of one shared with me by Auntie Caroline Kuliaikanu`ukapu Wilcox DeLima Farias, the subject of an oral history project that I hope will be published in both hardcopy and audio editions. This special woman was one of the first people to welcome me to Honolulu in 1972.…


`AHI IN COCONUT MILK SAUCE

As always, I encourage you to adjust the following ingredients to meet your taste preferences. For instance, I don't care for parsley and often use marjoram in its place. You might consider experimenting with flavor enhancements such as a dash of Worcestershire, Asian, or hot sauce. If you're in a rush, consider augmenting a prepared white sauce with a few seasonings and fresh ingredients. Carol’s recipe cooked the fish cooked within the prepared sauce. I suggest sautéing the fish separately until light brown and then adding it to the sauce. If you do not eat fish, you can substitute another protein [including tofu] or a blend of your favorite vegetables.  


COCONUT Milk SAUCE

1 Medium Maui or other sweet onion [diced]

3/4 Cup Coconut Milk

1/2  Lemon [sliced into rounds]

2 Sprigs of Parsley or other fresh herbs [chopped]

1 Whole Bay Leaf

1-2 Tablespoons of Corn Starch


SEASONINGS

1 teaspoon salt 

1/2 Teaspoon Pepper [white if you wish to produce a truly white sauce]

1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg


PREPARING THE SAUCE

Sweat onion slices in a large pan or skillet for five to ten minutes on medium low heat. [Cooking more than that will produce caramelized onions, which taste great but will color the sauce. Stir corn starch into the coconut milk and add to onions. Add lemon slices, chopped herbs and bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring to keep the sauce smooth. Remove bay leaf and set aside until you are ready to pair with a protein or vegetables. 


If you are not going to use immediately, allow sauce to cool to room temperature, then place in a tightly sealed container. It may be refrigerated for a few days. When ready to use, reheat slowly, stirring to keep smooth. 


SAUTÉING PROTEIN OR VEGETABLES

Heat a tablespoon of your preferred cooking oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Depending on size and thickness, cook protein for 2 to 4 minutes. Vegetables may be cooked at a higher temperature. 

Add sautéed food to the pre-heated sauce. Gently cook for a couple of minutes to integrate all of the ingredients. Regardless of whether you are presenting the dish on a platter or serving guests individually, creatively garnish with your preferred fruit…


SUGGESTED ISLAND GARNISH

1 Papaya, sliced in ½ inch strips

2 Kiwis, sliced in rounds

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