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Natural Awakenings New York City

It’s Sizzling in the Summer Kitchen!

Summer is the high season for fresh dining to celebrate warm weather and make the most of evening’s lingering natural light. Entertaining calls for tasty fare and light foods. This month, Natural Awakenings receives guidance from tri-state local, Dana Cohen from Fox’s hit TV series, Hell’s Kitchen to help you whip up a savory summer delight!


Seared Ahi Tuna Tostada with Watermelon Mango Salsa and Lime Crema

Make the salsa:

Combine all ingredients. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Make the lime crema:

Whisk sour cream in a small bowl until perfectly smooth, then whisk in fresh lime juice and kosher salt to taste.

Make the tostadas:

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a small sauté pan, heat enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, pan-fry the tortillas, one at a time, for about 45 seconds on each side until golden brown. Transfer to paper towel-lined sheet and sprinkle immediately with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Sear the tuna:

Season the tuna on both sides with black sesame seeds, chili powder, salt, and pepper, pressing lightly to adhere. Using the same sauté pan, pour off most of the oil so about 1 TBSP remains. When pan is very hot ,sear tuna about 30 seconds on each side, including the edges. Remove from pan and rest for 3-4 minutes before slicing. To assemble the tostadas, top each tortilla with sliced tuna and salsa, dividing evenly. Drizzle with lime crema, garnish with cilantro leaves, and serve with lime wedges.


For the salsa:

1 1/2 cups watermelon, diced small

1 mango, diced small

1/2 cup jicama, peeled and diced small

1/4 cup red onion, minced

1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and minced

1 scallion, green part thinly sliced

1Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped

1/2 lime, juiced

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 dash of your favorite hot sauce

1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste


For the lime crema:

1/2 cup sour cream

fresh lime juice, to taste

kosher salt, to taste


For the tostadas and tuna:

4 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas

sunflower or canola oil, for frying

chili powder

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 lb sushi grade Ahi tuna, about 1-inch thick

1 Tbsp black sesame seeds


To follow Dana’s culinary adventures, become a fan at

This article is featured in the July 2012 issue of Natural Awakenings Magazine, New York City Edition.