Encrusted Ahi Tuna Pupus ~ ~ Aloha from the islands


Hello from tropical paradise!  My farm sitter is home with all my furry animal family and baking in the 100 degree temperatures while hubby and I escaped!  After a few days of soaking in the sun, taking in the aroma of all the tropical blossoms, listening to the waves gently washing ashore, we decided to venture out and try a new restaurant.  I simply love Thai food, so we chose Singha Thai due to all of the international accolades showered on the chef/owner and his culinary style.
Little did we know that one of the appetizers or ‘pupus’ as they call them here in Hawaii, is one of the top favorite dishes that Chef Chai created and serves at both of his award-winning restaurants.  To me, no ingredient represents Hawaiian cuisine more perfectly than Ahi Tuna.  So as curious as I am, after we returned to our room, I googled the recipe!  To my surprise this is one of the recipes that he shares with his fans.  It is simply incredible and even my husband who despises raw fish/sushi/sushimi was impressed.

This delightful appetizer consists of beautiful, fresh, red Ahi Tuna dipped in a tempura batter and then encased in a panko crust.  Then the tuna is fried for just a few seconds only so that the tuna stays raw inside.  Finally, it is plated and beautifully presented in a perfectly spiced curry sauce with a wasabi sauce drizzled around for that extra little Asian bite!  A tropical mango salsa marriage tops it all off!

This is literally a tropical culinary paradise in your mouth!

Sitting Buddha and Reclining/Sleeping Buddha statues among the Thai decor

Crusted ‘Ahi Tuna Katsu, Yellow Curry Sauce and Fresh Mango Salsa
(Recipe courtesy of Chef Chai of Chai’s Island Bistro and Singha Thai in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA)

Tempura batter

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
½ cup water
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients above until the batter has no lumps; set aside.

‘Ahi Tuna Katsu

2 blocks fresh ‘ahi (about 1½-2 lbs.), cut into an inch tube about 6 to 8 inches long
4 sheets nori (Japanese seaweed)
1 cup Tempura Batter (recipe above)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, enough to fill a frying pan a minimum of 1-inch deep

Wrap each piece of ‘ahi tuna with two sheets of fresh nori.
Dip them into the tempura batter.
Coat with panko breadcrumbs.
In wok or deep fryer/cast iron pan, preheat oil to 375°F.
Fry fish until golden brown (about 30 to 45 seconds).
Slice into 8 to 10 ¼-inch-thick pieces.

Thai Yellow Curry Sauce

½ Tbsp. Thai yellow curry paste
2 cups coconut milk
1 Tbsp. fish sauce or Aloha Shoyu
½ Tbsp. curry powder
½ Tbsp. sugar

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all of the ingredients above; bring to a boil.
Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens to the consistency of mustard.

Mango-Tomato Salsa

2 Tbsp. ripe mango, diced
2 Tbsp. tomato, diced
½ Tbsp. Chinese parsley, chopped
½ Tbsp. onion, chopped
½ Tbsp. bell pepper, chopped
¼ Tbsp. lemon juice
¼ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ Tbsp. sugar
Pinch of salt, to taste
Dash of Tabasco, to taste

In a small bowl, combine all of the above ingredients.

Plate ahi tuna katsu slices on one side of plate.
Spoon some of Mango-Tomato Salsa next to tuna slices.
Ladle/pour some Thai Yellow Curry Sauce on the other side of plate.
Drizzle wasabi sauce around the outside of plate (for both taste/use as well as enhanced presentation).
Mahalo (thank you) to Chef Chai and his aloha generosity for sharing this recipe!

Your comments make me smile and I promise to get back to you. I may be slow at it because I get easily distracted by something brewing in the kitchen or hummingbirds in my gardens.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today! If you’ve enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to my blog to receive e-mail notices of any new posts and recipes! I would love to follow your site back as well!

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  1. Appealing presentation and absolutely delicious looking tuna.

  2. Wow, thanks for sharing the recipe! That dish looks delicious. It is picture perfect too! I hope you are having fun on your vacation.

  3. Incredible! All of the flavors sound amazing!

  4. OH WOW!! I am green with envy! Just kidding, have a great time and thanks for sharing it with us!


  5. That is a gorgeous meal brimming with fresh and delicious flavors! I hope you have the most wonderful time in Hawaii!! Enjoy.

  6. Such a pretty plate too! Have fun!!

  7. Lovely recipe! Enjoy!!!

  8. Hi Roz!!

    Have a wonderful vacation and just let me know a couple of days before the Friday that you want to co-host!!


  9. What a beautiful page. The Panko tuna looks incredible. Terrific blog! Happy to have found you via the Friday follows. I’m pleased to be following you. Come by and see me, too! :)



  10. Your blog is beautifully designed and makes me so hungry!

    I’ve got an award for you! You can get it at:


  11. all this food looks freaking delicious!
    new follower from FF

  12. Heyy! I’m a new follower from New Friend Friday! Your recipes look delicious and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!


  13. OMG!!! that dish looks oh so yummy!!! I am following you thanks to New Friend Friday! It would be nice if you could share the love back on my blog! Also we have a brand new blog-hop… no rules just fun and would love you to join in:) Oh and if you need any blog help or easy HTML tips, you know where to come!Happy Friday!

  14. Happy Friday!! Stopping by to say Hi!.

    If I’m your newest follower? Yes, I am.

    Thank you for share nice blog,


    my community is http://theblogfrog.com/1233755

    Have a nice day.

    PS. From Follow Friday 40 and over

  15. Oh wow the recipes look delicious!!
    Love your blog
    newest follower:)

  16. stopping by from friday follow 40 and over,, I am your newest follower, love your blog..


    that looks so good can’t wait to check out all your other recipes….

  17. Oh wow, the Ahi Tuna Katsu sounds delicious! I am a new follower from Friday Follow! http://cakeblast.com

  18. Looks wonderful!!
    I am now following you through
    Follow Friday 40+!!
    Peggy Gorman

  19. I want that TUNA!!

    Found you through Friday follow- and am your newest follower! I hope you’ll come follow me back! Please? With a cherry on top?? :)


  20. Your blog is just delightful!!! I’m visiting from NFF and wanted to say I’m happy to be your newest follower! I’d love for you to swing by FrouFrouDecor…I love new friends!!
    All the best and happy weekend!
    ~Terrell @ FrouFrouDecor~

  21. It would THRILL ME to have some recipes from you for the recipe exchange. Any and all…just copy and paste.

    So happy you dropped by my blog so I could meet you. I’ll look forward to following and SEEING THOSE RECIPES in my email box! ;-)

  22. have a happy saturday! enjoy your day! Im your newest follower – http://www.justcherishtoday.com – come follow me back and let’s stay in touch!

  23. I’m hungry and that looks so good! I hope you’re having a wonderful time.

  24. I love ahi and that looks so good!! I love the recipe,


  25. Beautiful website!! Wow! Thanks for stopping by- following you back! :)
    Surviving a Teachers Salary

  26. Wow that tuna looks and sounds amazing! Your site is beautiful, too! I’m glad we have found each other’s blogs and I’m now following you!

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