Seared Tuna Bowl with Spicy Mayo & Ponzu Sauce

My saved posts on Instagram consist mostly of weeknight dinner inspiration. Not the glossy, overly-styled food photos shot by a professional, but the hand-in-the-shot, poorly lit (but delicious looking) dinner plates of both the strangers I follow and the people I actually know. This relatable content helps inform my weeknight dinner repertoire on the reg.

Here’s a window into my saves – there’s baked chicken tenders with homemade ranch sauce, a 15-minute veggie lo mein and a Mexican-inspired rice bowl with black beans and Trader Joe’s corn salsa. Real meals by real people is what sparks inspiration on my feed because ‘what am I having for dinner tonight?‘ is a question that plagues me from the moment I wake up. #dinneranxiety

One such dish that inspired me recently was a seared tuna rice bowl with spicy mayo that’s a go-to for my friend and cooking mentor, Pam aka @potsandpams. She shared a pic of her dinner plate and I immediately saved the photo and asked for the recipe.

This dish is super simple, healthyish and full of flavor. Cook the tuna to your preferred doneness or you could even chop it up and serve it raw, poke style. The veggies lend a fresh, bright crunchiness to the dish and the two sauces are so good you could drink them with a straw. You could opt for just one of the sauces, but you’re going to want both – they’re that good.


Seared Tuna Bowl with Spicy Mayo and Ponzu Sauce 

Serves 2, with leftovers for work tomorrow  


  • 1 pound sushi grade tuna
  • 1/4 cup of black and white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil

Spicy Mayo

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tbs sriracha
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar

Ponzu Sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbs mirin
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger (or 2 cubes of frozen minced ginger!)
  • 1 tsp sriracha

Bowl toppings

  • 1 cup short grain brown rice*, cooked
  • 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • handful of cilantro, chopped

Rub tuna with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place sesame seeds on a large plate and dredge tuna in the seeds covering completely on both sides. Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Place tuna in the skillet and cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove tuna from the skillet and let it cool slightly and then thinly slice it.

Whisk all ingredients for ponzu sauce in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk all ingredients for spicy mayo in a small bowl and set aside. To assemble, divide the rice among bowls and top with sliced tuna, cucumber, radishes, avocado, cilantro, scallions and drizzle with spicy mayo and ponzu sauce to your heart’s content!

*Short grain brown rice is a recent addition to my life and I’m obsessed and never going back to non-short grain brown rice. 

Big Bowl Asian Chicken Soup

Chinese Meatball Soup, I must confess something, I have a crush on another asian noodle soup. His name is Big Bowl and he’s got bigger, sexier soba noodles, white meat chicken chunks, and exotic shiitake mushrooms. He’s also got napa cabbage, snow peas and a trust fund. I think we should still be friends and I intend to make you again, but right now I’m going to see where things go with Big Bowl.  Delicious and healthy, this big bowl soup is the perfect one pot weeknight meal, ready in under 30 minutes. It’s fast, easy, and so tasty. You could easily make this soup vegetarian by subbing tofu for the chicken or just sticking with straight veggies. With more snow forecasted for this week, I highly recommend giving this soup a try. Let us rejoice, this soup is the polar vortex antidote our nation’s been waiting for!



Big Bowl Asian Chicken Soup

Based on this recipe from Epicurious, recommended by my wise brother, Andrew.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breastspicstitch-6

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced

4 cups chicken broth

1/4 tsp ground ginger

a few shakes of ground cardamom

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 cups of shredded napa cabbage

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/3 cup shredded carrots

1 cup snow peas

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

8 oz soba noodles, cooked according to package directions

sliced green onions for garnish

Slice the chicken breasts into bite size pieces. In a small bowl combine the chicken and soy sauce. Heat oil over medium high heat and add the chicken, minced garlic and red pepper flakes; cook for 2 minutes stirring often. Add the broth, ginger, cardamom, and vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and let the soup simmer until chicken is cooked. Stir in cabbage, snow peas, carrots, sesame seeds and cilantro and cook for 2 more minutes. Place a good amount of soba noodles in your bowl and ladle on the deliciousness. Garnish with green onion.


Slurp up the goodness, husband.