Catalina Cooking: The blue fin run is on and roah is in … again

Blue fin ahi. Courtesy photo

The blue fin run is on and roah is in … again

Like any good fisherman, I have had my eye on where the fish are.

I’ve been in contact with my many friends that are either on the water everyday, work on the right boats, or are just in the know. Sea bass are here. Larger yellowtail are running through California waters. Bluefin are local again, for the most part. Once again my boat partner Mark takes off with some friends and they score. Don’t start me on where our boat has been the past four months.

Anyway I had five of my listings at Vaughn Allen Yacht Sales closing and as well two co-ops in the past three weeks. A one man band … No problem. I make it happen. I did find two really great yacht professions that I am currently training (Jon M and Mike M making it happen!) They really get it, but I digress. So anyway keeping on track, Mark sends me photos from Friday to Sunday while I am doing paperwork … OK never mind.

They had like a thousand pounds of fish with five fish. Mark brought me my favorite around the belly. He had loins, this and that and I finally picked some up. Its only me at the house that eats fish as Mag is all vegan now. I really like to do cold dishes from here until October when it cools down.

I thought why not cook for the crew at Mel and Janos I taught scuba to and what a neat office of cool peeps. I did the Tuna Au Poivre like Ma Mason on Melrose in the ’70s. I feel I was there fishing with them and look forward to some halibut and yellowtail fishing. I’m beat!

• 10 pounds fresh Tuna. Use the loins near the head to the tail. Nice clean lean pieces

• 1/4 pound of course black pepper

• 1/4 cup coconut oil. For frying. Might need more. This time of year it is liquid so be careful.

For the sauce

• 1 egg yolk.

• 2 ounces of fresh lemon juice

• 2 ounces of rice vinegar

• 2 ounces of soy sauce

• 1/4 cup pickled ginger

• 4 ounces grape-seed oil or other light oil

• 4 T prepared wasabi

Salt and more cracked paper to taste. Keeping the cracked pepper throughout the deal.

In a blender, put the egg yolk wasabi and blend slowly adding the lemon, vinegar, soy. Slowly adding the oil to create an emulsion. Add the ginger and puree in the mix. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate.

Cut your tuna in large pieces and dry well. Coat generously with the cracked pepper. In a large sauté pan with high sides put on high heat. Turn on you fan and open the windows. About to get hot and spicy in the air. Add enough coconut oil and cook the pieces one to two at a time. Depending on the size, if you have large hunks cook about a minute per quarter. Remove from heat and let cool on a cooling rack of sorts. DO NOT let the fish sit with nothing in between the dish and the fish. It will continue to cook and and get soggy. Refrigerate for about 3-4 hours or up to overnight covered lightly. Slice the tuna about 1/4 inch thick and arrange on a platter. Spoon some sauce over it and garnish with minced chives. Put extra sauce in a bowl. I made some cold steamed red rice and beans, added coconut cream and sweet Thai chili sauce to serve with it. I made a salad of just as it sounds….Sliced cucumber, apples, dill, lemon juice and more cracked pepper. Make this for six or a hundred. Organization and simplicity makes this a great one. Our boat goes back in the water tomorrow. Wish us luck. Thanks and enjoy. Keep the emails coming. I enjoy them.

Capt. Vaughn Allen was a private chef and butler for the ultra rich and famous most of his life. Vaughn was recently called out of retirement to cook the intimate celebration dinner for Sir Ringo Starr and his close friends. Vaughn is a businessman, scuba instructor and most recently a yacht broker in Redondo Beach. You can contact him at


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