P. had picked up the most beautiful sushi-grade ahi tuna for like $12/lb. at Huffman’s Market in Upper Arlington, and I put out a call for suggestions on Twitter yesterday asking my Tweeple what I should do with it. I got a few people saying “sushi”, but my last attempt at making it had results that were so laughable that I got scared away from trying again for a while. However, I did want to vibe on those types of flavors, and after a search, I found a recipe online for a seared tuna topped salad with all kinds of wonderful toppings.
I wanted something really light, not a ton of carbs, and this fit the bill. Even though I’m not a huge fan of some of the individual components (wasabi mayo, masago, etc), put together the combination was out of this world! Easily the best thing I’ve eaten so far this month, and something I could see myself eating once a week. And so, so easy to make. I had never seared tuna before, and it was easier than I ever dreamed.
Pan-Seared Sesame-Crusted Tuna
recipe from Use Real Butter food blog
4 tuna steaks (~6 oz. per person), ahi tuna or maguro (sashimi)
1/4 c. black sesame seeds
1/4 c. white sesame seeds
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. unflavored oil (vegetable or canola)
2 ripe avocados, sliced thin
masago or tobiko (smelt fish roe)
2 tbsp. wasabi powder
2 tbsp. water
1/2 c. mayonnaise
6 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tbsp. mirin
2 tbsp. brown sugar
dash of rice wine vinegar
Wasabi mayonnaise: Mix the wasabi powder with the water until it forms a uniform paste. Mix with the mayonnaise. It tastes better if you let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour or so before serving.
Anago sauce: Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Let boil for a minute or so and reduce to simmer until slightly thickened. Let cool (it will thicken some more, so don’t boil it down too much).
Combine the sesame seeds, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Completely coat the tuna steaks in the mixture, pressing seeds and seasonings into the flesh. Heat the oil in a large, shallow frying pan over high heat. When the oil is hot (chuck a sesame seed in and it should sizzle – just take care if the dam thing jumps and hits you!) set one or two steaks into the pan. Take care not to crowd the steaks. More than two at a time will make it hard to sear the sides without overcooking the other pieces. Sear for less than a minute on the flat sides (unless you want it more cooked) and while gently holding the steaks with tongs, sear for about 20 seconds (or more if you prefer) on the short sides. Remove to a cutting board and slice the steaks into 1/2 inch thick pieces at an angle – or leave whole if you prefer. Set avocado slices on a bed of salad greens and then fan the tuna on top. Drizzle with wasabi mayonnaise and anago sauce over the fish or serve on the side. Top with a sprinkle of masago. Serves 4.