Ahi Nachos with Pickled Red Onions and Wasabi Crema

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Ahi-Nachos-with-pickled-red-onion-wasabi-cremaIn general, I’m all about the “yes.” From moving to Paris (excellent idea) to sporting a Winona pixie cut (not-so-excellent idea), I’ll try pretty much anything once, which is something I’m proud of. In fact, after “sparkling wit” and “good hugger,” I think my overall “yes” mentality may be my best quality.

With that said, I’m slowly learning the importance of saying NO. Especially when it comes to my roommate.

Like most couples, I felt compelled to participate in all of Logan’s favorite pastimes during the earlier stages of courtship (as he did mine). While some of them were unexpectedly fabulous, like camping and making dirty Christmas cookies, others didn’t really suit me.

For example, I get unattractively sweaty and anxious at barbecue festivals, 3-hour bike rides make me question my will to live, and sometime after my 20th Widespread Panic concert, I developed weird urges to cry and/or scream, “Is this just one long song??! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!!!” during the shows.

Ahi-Nachos-with-pickled-red-onion-wasabi-crema-step-2In order to preserve my health, happiness and sanity, I’ve gracefully bowed out of the aforementioned activities over the past couple years. It’s worked out quite well. The best part is, I still get to bask in Logan’s ecstatic glow after he eats 10 types of ribs or noodles at Panic, but I don’t actually have to be involved in the “festivities.”

While Logan’s cool with me walking away from a lot of his thangs, there’s one that he’s had a particularly hard time letting me give up. Let’s talk about skiing, shall we?

Ahi-Nachos-with-pickled-red-onion-wasabi-crema-8I’ve mentioned before that I have mixed feelings about skiing. I know how to do it, and I really dig my ski suit, but I just can’t get overly amped about the sport. A few runs are fine, but then I get cold and antsy, and I mostly just think about naps and snacks. Truth be told, I’m much happier skipping the mountain altogether and spending the day resting up for après.

Ahi-Nachos-with-pickled-red-onion-wasabi-crema-4It has been VERY difficult for Logan to wrap his head around this upsetting truth. Given his past as a ski instructor, I think Logan believed he could mold me into his very own Lindsey Vonn, and we’d eventually shred off into the sick pow together…


I have neither the time nor the circulatory capabilities to become such a skier, and last year, I finally broke it down for the dude. I would continue to ski with him on our Colorado adventures, but only part-time. For every day spent on the mountain, I would take one day off to pursue my favorite indoor activities and then meet him afterward. Yes, I received some initial pushback, but deep down Logan knows this new world order is pretty kickass, especially since it means I can secure a prime table for après. (This is crucial.)

Ahi-Nachos-with-pickled-red-onion-wasabi-crema-9I love the après experience for so many reasons (ski bunny outfits and “hide the vodka” included), but I’m mostly in it for the snacks. My affinity for ski town finger food borders on fetishism, and from chicken fingers to tacos, I’ve had some of my all-time favorite bites on the après circuit. I’m guessing I talk about this a lot, as Logan’s parents gifted me an après ski cookbook for Christmas.

Logan and I happened to spend last weekend in Vail, and I amused myself off-mountain by perusing this fabulous cookbook. I plan to make a number of its recipes, but there was a picture of Ahi Nachos that spoke to me. Those bad boys finally had their day in my kitchen, and all I have to say is…

Dear GOD.

Ahi-Nachos-with-pickled-red-onion-wasabi-crema-5These, friends, are some seriously epic nachos.

Marinated ahi tuna over crisp tortilla chips with quick pickled red onions and sweet hoisin sauce makes for major flavor fireworks. A medley of pea sprouts, cucumber and radishes keeps things light and fresh, and wasabi crema is the fiery finale on your tastebuds. In short, Ahi Nachos are magical, and since there’s no actual cooking involved, even the most culinarily-challenged peeps will be able to pull them off.

Just say yes.

Ahi-Nachos-with-pickled-red-onion-wasabi-crema-6Logan missed these sexy nachos, but I will obviously need to make them for him ASAP. They are proof that not skiing has a serious upside…

Ahi Nachos with Pickled Red Onions and Wasabi Crema: (Serves 4)

½ small red onion, minced
2 limes, juiced
Sea salt
6 ounces sushi grade ahi tuna
¼ cup Ponzu sauce
4 cups blue corn tortilla chips
¼ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup pea or radish sprouts
For the Wasabi Crema:
¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt (You can also use regular sour cream if you’re feeling indulgent.)
1½ teaspoons wasabi powder
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
For Garnish: (optional)
Finely chopped seedless cucumber
Thinly sliced radish
Thinly sliced scallions

Preparing your Ahi Nachos:

-Let’s start by quick pickling the onions. In a small bowl, combine the minced red onion, lime juice and a pinch of sea salt. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Strain the onions. (This gives you more than enough time to prep everything else for the nachos and maybe take a shower/cat nap. Whoop.)

Ahi-Nachos-with-pickled-red-onion-wasabi-crema-step-1-Dice the tuna into ¼-inch cubes.

Ahi-Nachos-with-pickled-red-onion-wasabi-crema-step-2-Transfer tuna cubes to a bowl and toss with the Ponzu sauce. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Ahi-Nachos-with-pickled-red-onion-wasabi-crema-step-3-Place all the ingredients for the wasabi crema in a small bowl and stir until well combined. Boom.

Ahi-Nachos-with-pickled-red-onion-wasabi-crema-step-4-Now it’s time to assemble these bad boys. Arrange the chips on a large serving plate/platter and top with the tuna. Drizzle with about half of the hoisin sauce, and about a third of the crema.

Ahi-Nachos-with-pickled-red-onion-wasabi-crema-step-5-Top with the pickled red onions, sprouts and the cucumber, radish and scallions (if using). Drizzle with the remaining hoisin sauce and another third of the crema. Serve immediately. I like to set out the remaining crema for people to dip/add to their own ‘chos. (Not everyone likes tons of wasabi, capiche?)


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  1. Sean Smith on February 26, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Love this post. My wife and are were a little opposite at the beginning. We didn’t fully say NO to each others interests. Now that we have kids, every moment is valuable. We want so badly to spend every scrap of time together. I think this recipe will be a great opportunity to share some time together chowing down on some nachos.

    • Serena_Wolf on February 27, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      Thank you, Sean!! This comment made my day. Love the thought of romantic nachos for two.

  2. Claire Thompson on February 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    This is one of my favorite posts to date! I was laughing hysterically and I can totally relate. My fiance is a much better snowboarder than I am and we went to the Alps a few weeks ago for his birthday and I just could not get excited to “shred the gnar” EVERY DAY from 8AM-5PM with him. I ended up only snowboarding 2 of the 4 days… Whoops! Apres Ski for the win! These nachos look delicious as does everything else you post!

    • Serena_Wolf on February 27, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      Ah, Claire, I’m so glad I’m not alone in this!!! And, for the record, I hope to après in the Alps one day very soon…

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