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Hawaii Regional Cuisine-Ahi Katsu

Updated on June 23, 2014
Deep-Fried Tuna Katsu
Deep-Fried Tuna Katsu

Memories of Hawaii

Ahhhh. As I look back on my last visit to Hawaii, I can't help but smile and breathe a sigh of joy. Memories of clear, blue skies and the feel of the gentle trade winds that caress my skin with the spirit of aloha.

Chilling out on the pristine white sands of Kailua Beach heals every part of my soul. But come lunchtime, I am ravished with hunger for some good local grinds.

The Taste of the Islands

Hawaii is known for their unique island cuisine and one of my favorites is a Japanese-inspired dish that's loved by young and old alike. Ahi (tuna) Katsu is basically sashimi (raw fish) that's deep-fried similar to tempura. The variety of textures and interesting flavors make this a knock-out dish fit for special occasions.

Of course if you're like me, you'd want to have it no matter the occasion. The dish is so simple to make and unbelievably quick too! Just make sure you're using the best sashimi-grade tuna for the best results.

Tips for Best Results

  • Use the freshest tuna available
  • Flash-fry the tuna blocks for no more than 30-45 seconds.
  • Serve immediately while the flesh is cold and the batter is hot.
  • You can use Coleman's Mustard in place of Chinese Mustard

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Ready in: 15 min
  • Yields: 4


  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna cut into 2 blocks
  • 2 sheets of nori ( dried seaweed )
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup oil for deep-frying
  • "Batter"
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon peper
  • "Sauce"
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese mustard
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce


  1. Combine the flour, egg, water, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the mayonnaise, mustard and soy sauce in a small bowl to make the sauce.
  3. Prehead the oil to 375F.
  4. Wrap each piece of tuna blocks with the nori sheets.
  5. Dip the blocks into the batter and coat with breadcrumbs.
  6. Fry the blocks for 45 seconds and outside is golden brown.
  7. Cut into 1/4-inch slices and serve with sauce.
The New Cuisine of Hawaii
The New Cuisine of Hawaii

Featuring some of my favorite chefs from Hawaii, this unique cookbook lets you sample some of the most mouth-watering dishes available at top Hawaii restaurants at home! Each of the 12 chapters include recipes from their famous restaurants including Mark Ellman's premier dessert-Carmel Miranda, which is simply a culinary masterpiece.

What Hawaii Likes to Eat
What Hawaii Likes to Eat

A collection of the most popular and loved dishes of local residents. From Chicken Katsu to Spam Musubi, it's all here! This is comfort food for those who grew up in Hawaii.

Hawaii Cooks with Spam: Local Recipes Featuring Our Favorite Canned Meat
Hawaii Cooks with Spam: Local Recipes Featuring Our Favorite Canned Meat

Hawaii loves Spam and this cookbook is a celebration of all things made with this humble luncheon meat. From Spam Musubi to Spam Summer Rolls, these recipes are perfect for beginners and experienced chefs alike and are sure to satisfy the hungry Spam lovers in your life!


Have you ever eaten Hawaii Regional Cuisine? Did you like it? What do you think of this recipe? Your comments are always appreciated. Thanks!

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    • Andromachi profile image

      Andromachi 3 years ago

      I haven't tried Hawaii Cuisine ever. Interesting recipe. I wonder if I could use canned tuna though. Here in Greece we can't find fresh tuna in the market.

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      This looks amazing! I would love to try this recipe - thank you!

    • profile image

      sybil watson 3 years ago

      Wow, this looks so ono, and easy to make. I'll be back the next time we get some ahi.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Looks delicious, as I do like tuna, I've never had this before but know that I'd really like it. You always come up the the most unique recipes!! Thanks :)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      This looks wonderful! It's been decades since I lived in Hawaii, but still remember the the taste of Sashimi. Seared Ahi is a favorite now, but your recipe makes me think I could do this! Total Yum!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      I still hope to make it to Hawaii one day. I'll have to stay for months in order to sample everything I find enticing in your food features.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 3 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Yep, Ahi Katsu is a favorite of ours too. We are lucky to live here to sample all the ono food! :)

    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      You certainly do have the most exotic dishes. My husband would be in 7th heaven to have this dish presented to him.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 3 years ago

      Your Ahi Katsu recipe looks fabulous enough just to move to Hawaii for! I am definitely saving this recipe as one I need to try in my own kitchen! As for that healing power of the beach you mention--I am graced with the gift of the sea doing the same for me every day since it is within a block from my home.

    • profile image

      ColettaTeske 3 years ago

      I sure do miss my favorite Hawaiian foods, especially Ahi Sashimi! This recipe looks wonderful and something I can cook in my own kitchen!