Steamship Pilot Jared Austin Serves Fresh Take on Yellowfin Tuna Salad

  • Author: Jared Austin, New Orleans-Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association


Looking for a spicy and refreshing appetizer? This miso, ginger & chili yellowfin salad will hit the spot.



Reflecting on Louisiana’s coast, Captain Jared Austin doesn’t hesitate in saying he was “born and raised on it, it’s home.” He grew up in Avondale but spent his fair share of time in Riverbend, where he now lives with his 16-year-old daughter, Jane, their Portuguese water dog, and six chickens. Jared, whose family stretches back generations in the area, states, “We’re water people for sure. We’re not new here.”

Few know the ins and outs of the Mississippi like Jared, who has been a river pilot with the New Orleans-Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association for more than a decade. Jared’s is a life lived on water, whether he’s guiding a ship the size of a skyscraper down the river, manning the tiller of a 12-foot flatboat, or flounder gigging in the shallows in summer.

Jared’s favorite Louisiana seafood is shrimp or, as he calls it, “the bacon of the sea.” But for the purposes of this assignment, he prepared yellowfin tuna caught on a recent fishing trip with friends. Building off of existing recipes he finds and drawing on knowledge from the classic Pots, Pans, and Pioneers (“a staple of any Louisiana kitchen”), Jared likes to experiment in the kitchen. He incorporates his own homegrown vegetables—a nod to part of his childhood spent in St. Charles Parish, where his family owned a store and land to grow snap peas and other vegetables. Key to Jared’s cooking are his home-grown jalapeños and a liberal hand with the fresh ginger, one of his favorite ingredients.

Despite Jared’s profound knowledge of the geography of the region—including the ability to chart the Mississippi solely from memory without GPS or other electronic aids—he reports that he can no longer navigate his favorite fishing childhood fishing spots. Some have changed profoundly, while others have disappeared altogether.

Jared sees it as our collective duty to help protect the coastline and have as little an impact as possible. This carries over into his work: “We as river pilots are at the frontline of environmental protection. Our number one job is to keep the environment and the people of Louisiana safe. This is our home, and we’re meant to take care of it.”



  • Author: Jared Austin, New Orleans-Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association
  • Ingredients

    • 1 Tbsp. sambal
      1 Tbsp. sriracha
      1/2 cup soy sauce
      1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
      1/2 cup avocado oil
      1 tsp. sesame oil
      1 Tbsp. ginger, peeled and grated fresh
      1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced


    Miso-Ginger Mayonnaise Preparation

    1. Mix all ingredients completely and until smooth.

    Dressing Preparation

    1. Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth.
    2. Dice fish into bite sized cubes and toss in the dressing.
    3. Serve on cucumber slices drizzled with miso ginger mayo and garnished with a sliced fresh jalapeño.

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