Flash-Seared Seafood Salad

Troy Guard

TAG Raw Bar - Denver

Chef Troy Guard served this refreshing and simple seafood salad at the Beard House for Destination Denver, a collaborative dinner with other top chefs from the Mile High City.


  • 1 bunch ramps, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup buckwheat greens
  • 1 head frisée, yellow part only
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced Japanese cucumber
  • 1 bulb fennel, shaved
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon yuzu juice
  • Hawaiian red sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 4 ounces kona kampachi, cut into 1-ounce slices
  • 4 ounces smoked cutthroat trout, cut into 1-ounce slices
  • 4 ounces tuna, cut into 1-ounce slices
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Crimson watermelon vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Crimson Watermelon Vinaigrette:

  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon yuzu juice
  • 1 cup diced crimson watermelon
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 fresh watermelon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grape-seed oil
  • Honey to taste
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Toss the ramps with olive oil and lightly sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool and toss with buckwheat greens, frisée, cucumbers, fennel, and chives in a large bowl. Add the grape-seed oil and yuzu juice, and season to taste with Hawaiian salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat peanut oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Season kampachi, trout, and tuna with salt and pepper and lightly sear for about 30 seconds per side.

To make the watermelon vinaigrette, combine water, ginger, sugar, and yuzu juice in a glass jar. Add watermelon, shake gently, and let stand at room temperature for one hour. Drain watermelon and discard liquid. Set aside.

Combine rice wine vinegar, apple juice, and remaining ginger together in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat and cook until liquid is reduced by half, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from stove and cool. Place marinated watermelon, remaining yuzu juice, and watermelon juice in a bowl. Add rice wine vinegar mixture and slowly whisk in olive oil and grape-seed oil. Add honey to taste and whisk into vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange kampachi, trout, and tuna in a row on 4 plates. Divide salad between the four plates and top with the crimson watermelon vinaigrette.


4 servings