Tuna: Heat oil in skillet on stovetop. When the oil is very hot, place tuna in pan and sear for 1 minute on each side leaving the tuna very rare and pink in the center.
Rice Cakes: Steam rice in a rice cooker according to manufacturers instructions. Place rice in a large mixing bowl and add salt, mirin, nori, and rice wine vinegar. Place the rice on a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap. With damp hands press the rice into the pan. Cover the rice with plastic wrap and continue to press the rice until you have an even thickness of rice on the sheet pan. Cut the rice into 3 by 3-inch squares. Pan-fry the rice cakes until golden brown on both sides over medium heat on stovetop. Each side should take between 2 and 3 minutes to brown.
Place the salad on each of 4 plates so that it covers the inner plate. Place the fried rice cake in the center of the plate. Smear some wasabi aioli on the cake and add some ginger. Place the sliced tuna on the cake and drizzle the tuna with wasabi aioli, pineapple relish, and sprouts. Garnish with cilantro sprig.
Optional: Serve salad with sweet potato shoestrings found at specialty markets. Scatter shoestrings over the salad.
Slice pineapple lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Discard pineapple core. Brush both sides of each piece of pineapple lightly with oil and grill both sides. Dice pineapple into 1/4-inch pieces and mix with red bell pepper, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and black pepper.
Mix mayonnaise, wasabi paste, garlic and water in a bowl until smooth.
*Can be found at specialty Asian markets
Recipe courtesy of Bruce Yim, Sweet Basil Restaurant, Plainville, CT
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