Friday, June 7, 2013

Seared Tuna with Chinese Salad

This has been a family favorite for quite a few years now and often requested for birthday celebrations.  The key to this recipe is using impeccably fresh tuna (just one bite of fishy tasting tuna can spoil this salad).  This recipe seems long and quite complicated but it really is simple to make.

Sear Tuna with Chinese Salad
Makes 2 servings

1 tablespoon soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
1 lime, juiced
splash rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
4 teaspoons hot Chinese mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup Grapeseed oil
Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 head Chinese cabbage, such as napa or savoy, shredded
 1 bunch watercress, hand-torn
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 hothouse cucumber, sliced thin
2 green onions, sliced on the diagonal, white and green parts
2 radishes, sliced thinly in circles
1/4 cup radish sprouts, optional
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup canned mandarin orange segments drained
1 sushi-quality tuna steak, such as Ahi (8-12 ounces)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon Grapeseed oil

To make the vinaigrette:
Whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, vinegar, ginger, mustard, and honey.  Gradually drizzle in both oils, as you constantly whisk, until the dressing thickens and comes together.  Add a few twists of freshly ground black pepper to give the vinaigrette bite.

Combine the cabbage, watercress, cilantro, cucumber, green onions, radishes and carrot in a bowl.  Use your hands to toss the salad.  Then add the radish sprouts, almonds and mardarin oranges and lightly toss again.  Don't dress the salad yet because it will get soggy.  Cover it and put it in the refrigerator while you deal with the tuna; the contrast of the chilled salad and warm tuna is fantastic.

Rub both sides of the tuna steak with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil, salt and pepper.  Spread the sesame seeds out on a plate and lightly press each side of the tuna steaks into the seeds.  Heat the grapeseed oil and remaining tablespoon of sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Lay the steaks in the hot pan.  Sear the tuna for about 3 minutes until the sesame seeds form a crust.  Flip the tuna steaks over and cook the other side 3 to 4 minutes longer for rare.  Slice the tuna on a slight angle into 1-inch thick slices.

Toss the salad with half the vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper.  Divide the salad between two plates, lay the tuna slices on top, and then drizzle with the remaining dressing.  Elegant presentation.

Slightly adapted from Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen Cookbook

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