Kendra Thornton Shares her Favorite Dish: Maui Onion and Sesame Seed Crusted Seared Ahi

Good afternoon Michigan mommies!  I would like to introduce to you an amazing mom with a passion for travel and authentic cuisine: Kendra Thornton.

Kendra is “a long time travel expert who has been packing her bags and traveling the world since she was 3 months old!” 

My passion for travel is only eclipsed by my passion for my three beautiful children.  I’ve been lucky to combine the two, and am often featured as an expert in family, luxury, and adventure for FOX News, ABC, CBS, NBC, and CW networks.” ~Kendra Thornton

Kendra, has been to 28 countries on 6 continents, and have been quoted in the news about seasonal travel trends and destinations all over the United States.  She is now stepping out of the corporate spotlight to take on her role of being the number one mom and wife to a family of three.  Kendra’s utmost desire in life is in her home town.  She has mixed her excitement for travel by bringing the taste of authentic cuisine to her own home with some of her unique recipes.

Kendra would like to share with us one of her amazing recipes:

Maui Onion and Sesame Seed Crusted Seared Ahi

“Hawaii has a rich culture of food-the islands are a meeting point for Asian, Pacific Island, and American Cuisine, giving rise to unique flavors and dishes rarely seen elsewhere.  On my own trip to beautiful Maui, I was especially struck by one dish, and I wanted to bring it home to share with my east coast friends and family.”

“At the Lahaina Grill Restaurant, located on the ocean-bordering Front Street in historic Lahaina, I was lucky to try a delicious local specialty: Maui Onion and Sesame Seed Crusted Seared Ahi.  At my first bite, I could tell that this was a special fish, a perfect cut just browned and still delicately rare on the inside.  The flavors of the sesame mingled wonderfully with the apple-cider-butter vinaigrette and the caramelized onions-finished off with gently vanilla-seasoned rice, the meal was astounding.  Here’s how to make it yourself:”

“The two keys to this recipe are the cut of the fish and the caramelized onions.  Try to find ‘sashimi-grade’ Ahi Tuna steaks (high-quality tuna that can be consumed raw) and prepare them (or have them prepared) as if they were ‘center-cut’ fillet steaks: filleted, trimmed, and cut.”

“If you can’t find Maui onions, it’s fine to substitute sweet onions-the flavor will be essentially identical.  You’ll need:”

-28 oz. of onions (16 to caramelize and 12 to slice).  Dehydrate and crush for the tuna crust.  Slice the onions, erring toward thick slices and over medium-high heat, cook them with olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, stirring until caramelized.  Set them aside.  Crush the remaining onions and mix with sesame seeds, then use this mixture to coat the tuna steaks.    Sear the steaks on all sides, browning them and cooking just to rare or medium-rare temperature.

You’ll also need delicious rice in order to complete the dish.  Jasmine rice provides the best flavor-while you work with the fish and onions.  Cook the rice with a vanilla bean, shallots, and butter in a clam or fish broth.  These flavors will come together wonderfully!

Apple-Cider Soy Butter Vinaigrette provides the finishing touch.  Combine apple cider, white balsamic vinegar, and cider vinegar in a pan and reduce to 1/2 a cup.  When you’re ready to serve, pulse the mixture in a blender with soy margarine and butter, then season with chives.

To plate this masterpiece of Hawaiian cooking, arrange the rice in the center of a plate, topped with Ahi and a spoonful of caramelized onions.  Drizzle the fish with sauce and garnish the dish with chives.  A freshly steamed vegetable on the side completes a wholesome and delicious meal.

I realized that where you ate was just as important as where you rest your head at night.  I was so glad to bring this recipe home with me and I hope you enjoy it just as much as my family and I have.~Kendra Thornton

Thank you so much Kendra, for sharing your experiences and delightful recipe with us.  I look forward to trying this dish with my family.

If you have a recipe that you would like to share on Michigan Home Mommy Works, please contact me at

Resources: Kendra Thornton
Image Courtesy of: Kendra Thornton

Lindsey Jenn

One thought on “Kendra Thornton Shares her Favorite Dish: Maui Onion and Sesame Seed Crusted Seared Ahi

  1. It is so amazing that you have this one little group of bloggers in Michigan and you have this community that supports. I wish the same could be said here in Manila. Sometimes some people just get too obsessed with hits and the like.

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