Category Archives: Appetizer

Doug’s Tunachos

a fusion of traditional Hawaiian Poke and Mexican nachos

Serves 6

For the Poke

2 C ahi (yellowfin tuna, sashimi grade) diced as small as you can
¼ C sweet red onion, minced
¼ C scallions, green parts only sliced thin
½ C soy sauce
1 T sesame oil – I used hot chili sesame oil I found at the Chinese market
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Season Ahi with Hawaiian or other good finishing salt. Add all ingredients, mix well then chill for 3 hours tossing occasionally.

For the Cheese Mixture

4 C finely crumbled good quality Queso Fresco cheese
1 cob of corn – husk on but “de-silked”
2 medium red peppers
1 or 2 Jalapeno peppers (Use 2 if you’re using those wimpy jalapenos you get at most grocery stores. Use one if you’re using the real deal you get at the local farmer’s market). Remember there is some heat in the Poke as well.

High quality nacho chips (I used some made fresh by Don Antonio’s at the downtown market)

Peel back but don’t remove the husk on the corn and remove the silk.  “Re-wrap” the cob in the husk and soak in cold water for up to an hour.

Prepare your BBQ with a healthy handful of soaked mesquite in a foil pouch.  Once it is smoking, roast the red peppers, the jalapeno and the corn.  Remove the red pepper and the jalapeno when they are charred and put in a paper bag to cool.  Continue cooking the corn in its husk until the husk is blackened and you can see some of the corn kernels starting to turn brown.  Remove the corn and let cool in the husk.

When cooled, take the peppers out of the bag and remove the blackened skin; slice open; de-vein and de-seed.  Finely chop the roasted red and jalapeno peppers and add to the Queso Fresco. Husk the corn and slice off the kernels.  Add the corn to the Queso Fresco and pepper mixture and stir well.

I served this dish as an appetizer so I arranged four large nacho chips on a smallish rectangular plate with the concave surface facing up and serving as a dish for the cheese mixture.  Scoop a couple of tablespoons of the chees mixture into each nacho chip.  Arrange the plates on a cookie sheet and place under a medium hot broiler. Be careful not to let the chips burn.  You may have to fiddle with temperature a bit to get this right.  The Queso Fresco will not melt but it will begin to turn brown.

When the nacho chips and mixture have a nice brown surface remove from the broiler.  Top each nacho chip with a scoop of Poke and serve immediately.

Goes great with chilled Perseco


Laurie’s Sesame Crusted Tuna Balls with Ginger

250 grams of fresh sushi-grade tuna, minced
2 tsp minced red chilies
2 T minced chives
1 tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp sesame oil
½ T grated fresh ginger
4 T of mixed black and white sesame seeds
Oil for deep-frying

1. Combine minced tuna with the chili, chives, salt, pepper, sesame oil and ginger in a bowl. Mix well.
2. Place the sesame seeds on a plate. Wet your hands, scoop 1 tablespoon of the tuna mixture and roll into a ball. Roll the tuna ball in the sesame seeds until well coated on all sides. Repeat until tuna is used up.
3. Deep fry the tuna balls over high heat for 1 minute, turning constantly. Serve immediately with the toothpicks.

From: Asian Tapas – small bites, big flavors (Christophe Megel and Anton Kilayko)

Shrimp Stuffed Tomatoes

(from “Coconut & Lime: by Rachel Rappaport)

Small round tomatoes ( 1 lb or however many people you are serving)
1 lb cooked shrimp (I used northern)
1 dill pickle, minced
¼ C finely minced celery
2 T finely minced onion
2 T mayonnaise
2 T chopped parsley
1 T Old Bay seasoning
juice & zest of 1 lemon
Mix everything together and stuff into hollowed out tomatoes.

Jamaican Vegetable Patties


1 onion skinned
2 or 3 carrots
3 sweet potatoes

Place into roasting pan, pour 1/4 C olive oil over and
roast at 375 for about one hour.
When cooked, remove skin from sweet potatoes and dice
all vegetables finely. Place into pot.


2 tsp microplaned ginger root
4 cloves garlic chopped finely
1 bunch spinach
2 T curry powder
1 tsp cumin
2 seeded and finely chopped hot (at least a serrano) peppers
1 can coconut milk
some black pepper

Cook mixture for 20 minutes on low heat. Remove and let cool.

The cookbook has a dough recipe which I forwent and instead used frozen tart shells…putting mixture into the bottom one and then pressing down the top one.

Bake for around 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
(Sometimes the top lag so you may have to put them back in for a little longer).

I served this with Dwight’s Mango Chutney.

Both the patty and chutney recipe come from the Bamboo Cooks (a great but out of print cook book).

Dwight’s Mango Chutney

4 ripe mangoes peeled and diced
3/4 C white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 red pepper diced
1/4 C raisins
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 hot pepper seeded and finely chopped
1 T ginger root microplaned

Bring vinegar and salt to a boil and stir constantly for 1 minute.
Add sugar and boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly.
Add remaining ingredients, return to boil then simmer on low heat for
20 – 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool.

This will keep for up to a month refrigerated.
Do not freeze.

From the great Bamboo Cooks.

Penang Prawns

1 T peanut oil (I used sesame instead)
1/4 C panang curry paste
1 14 ounce can coconut milk
1 lime (juice)
1 T fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 pound shrimp (peeled and deviened)
1 red pepper (sliced)
1 handful peas)
1 handful cilantro
1 birds eye chili (thinly sliced) -optional
1 handful peanuts (roasted and chopped)

1. Heat the oil in a sauce pan.
2. Add the panang curry paste and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
3. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and simmer for 15-20 minutes to thicken.
4. Add the shrimp and red pepper and simmer until the shrimp is cooked, about 5 minutes.
5. Serve garnished with peas, cilantro, chilies and peanuts.

(I found this recipe at and made no real changes; when something turns out so well why bother.) Did not use the chili garnish since it was already fairly hot. -Paul


For the crepes:

Beat together til smooth:

2 large eggs
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp. ginger root
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 C water
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 C all purpose flour
1/3 C rice flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Stir in 1 T of water, 1 tsp. at a time until consistency of medium batter. Let stand for 10 minutes.


3/4 C finely chopped green onion
2 T finely chopped red pepper
2/3 C cooked shrimp (I used quite a bit more and chopped it to chunky)

Heat 1 T cooking oil in large non-stick frying pan until hot. Add about 2 tbsp. batter for each pancake. Cook on medium for 1 minute until edges begin to appear dry. Turn over. Cook until golden. Repeat with remaining batter, using cooking oil to prevent sticking as necessary. Makes 20 pancakes.

Nuoc Cham (dipping sauce)

2 garlic cloves minced
1-6 fresh small red chilies minced
1 T brown sugar, packed
1/4 C fish sauce
3 T rice vinegar
2 T lime juice
2 T water

Combine all ingredients in bowl. Allow to stand for 1 hour to blend flavours. Can be made 2 days ahead.