Smoked Ahi Tacos


ACTIVE: 50 min TOTAL: 1 hr 10 min

Overlookin­g the surf in Cayucos, Ruddell’s Smokehouse has been a Central Coast landmark for two decades. When it’s time to order, guests choose smoked meat, seafood or black bean patties in taco or sandwich form. We adapted their recipe using an easy technique for smoking on the grill.


1/4 cup reduced-sodium tamari or shoyu 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon sliced fresh ginger 2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled


1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped 1/8 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoon­s mayonnaise 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

11/2 teaspoons ground cumin


2 cups wood chips, preferably alder or

apple, soaked for 30 minutes 1 pound ahi (yellowtail) tuna steaks

(1 inch thick)

1 teaspoon packed brown sugar

Pinch of kosher salt

1 small carrot, shredded

1 small stalk celery, diced

1/2 medium Fuji apple, diced

1 scallion, sliced

12 6-inch corn or whole-wheat flour


11/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1 medium tomato, halved and sliced

1. To prepare teriyaki sauce: Combine tamari (or shoyu) and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add ginger and crushed garlic; reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Discard solids. Set aside.

2. To prepare aioli: Mash chopped garlic with 1/8 teaspoon salt into a paste in a mortar and pestle or with a fork on a cutting board. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise, mustard and cumin; mix well. Set aside.

3. To prepare tacos: If using a gas grill, add the wood chip packet (see Tip) and preheat to high. Then turn off 1 burner and reduce the heat on the remaining 1 to 2 burners to medium. If using a charcoal grill, build a twozone fire (coals on one side of the grill) and let it burn down to medium heat (about 350°F). Then drain wood chips and add to the coals.

4. Oil the grill rack. Sprinkle fish with brown sugar and salt. Place it on the unlit portion of the grill. Cover and smoke until firm, brushing with half of the teriyaki sauce halfway through, about 20 minutes. (Reserve the rest of the sauce for serving.) Transfer the fish to a clean cutting board. When cool enough to handle, flake the fish.

5. Meanwhile, combine carrot, celery, apple and scallion in a medium bowl.

6. Oil the grill rack again and cook tortillas until slightly charred, flipping halfway, about 1 minute.

7. Serve the fish with the tortillas, chopped salad, lettuce, tomato, the aioli and the remaining teriyaki sauce.

SERVES 6: 2 tacos each

Cal 423 Fat 19g (sat 4g) Chol 44mg Carbs 45g

Total sugars 14g (added 10g) Protein 19g Fiber 5g

Sodium 754mg Potassium 431mg.

TIP: To make a wood chip packet, fold a 12-by20-inch piece of heavy-duty foil in half to create a 12-by-10-inch double-thick piece. Drain the wood chips and transfer to the center of the foil. Create a packet by folding the short ends of the foil over the chips and folding the open ends to seal them.

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