alex thomopoulos

Ahi Tuna Lollipops with Sriracha Aioli

I became a chef because I have a fear of people.  I know it sounds weird, but allow me to explain. Well before I became a professional chef, whenever my friends would throw parties I would always volunteer to do the cooking. I would do this because I still wanted to be included in the gathering but I didn’t want to have to be forced to socialize with people I didn’t know.  It freaked me the ‘eff out yo. I found comfort in the fact that I had a reason to escape the awkward social settings that happens at parties. “The chicken ain’t gunna cook itself” I would say  as I casually tip toed away  into the kitchen.

I realized I am able to communicate better with people through the food I make. I love big, and I feel like I can’t express that into words very well, so I allow my food to do the talking. As odd as it sounds it was my fear of socializing that triggered my love of entertaining. (I know it totally doesn’t make sense, but just accept my weirdness and be enchanted with my charm) :)

Nothing makes me happier than to feed a crowd, that’s why I love my job so much is that I am able to love people through food everyday. Keeping it simple yet impressive is something that I am constantly searching for when menu planning for an event. I like to keep my kitchen a happy place and not one filled with chaos and dirty dishes, so it’s recipes like  these ahi tuna lollipops that are the perfect little bite to serve guests without destroying the kitchen. Whether I am catering, or just cooking for friends at home, this dish is an elegant, super easy, gluten free appetizer option that is a go to for me year round.

Print Recipe

Ahi Tuna Skewers with Sriracha Aoli

(makes approx. 15-20 pops)
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon low sodium tamari
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1 pound ahi tuna steak, cut into rectangular logs
  • *Toasted sesame seeds and scallions for garnish.
  • Sriracha Lime Aoli
  • ½ cup aioli (click here for recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (you can adjust heat by adding more or less)
  • ½ lime juice (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced (whites only)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl or Ziploc bag. Reserve 2 tablespoons of marinade to the side. Add tuna to Ziploc and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat. Remove tuna from marinade and place into pan.
  3. Sear for 10-20 seconds on each side.Remove tuna from pan and slice into bite size pieces (approx 1/4″-1/2″ thick). Drizzle marinade over tuna pieces and skewer them onto bamboo skewers.Serve with dipping sauce

5 Comments // Add A Comment

  • Amy Alexeev // 10.17.13

    Wow, I’ve always wondered if anyone else felt this way. :) Thanks for sharing that. I totally get it and think its a beautiful thing to turn your “weakness” into a strength that serves others. I need to try more of that. And also your ahi tuna apps. which look amazing!

  • Oh geeze-this is exactly my brain! I love people and they scare me! I most often wish I could I could only be visible to people I want to hang out with, and invisible to the rest. Handing them a cookie makes them happy and all of a sudden we have something to talk about (why do people always watch you and wait for you to initiate conversation? Blarg). Also these sound baller! Thanks for sharing!

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