Seared Tuna

January 28, 2009

Ruling a large kingdom, is like cooking a small fish…handle gently and never overdo.
~Lao-tse

The two crucial issues that I wanted to wag on about—buying fish & sustainable seafood—will need be addressed in a later post. With this now public affirmation there is little choice but to revisit those topics soon.

Apparently deferring thought is one of the blissful liberties associated with this laisser-aller format. Wouldn’t the unrestrained, self conscious 18th Century authors/essayists, Laurence Sterne and Samuel Johnson, have been the stylistic masters of the English speaking blogging universe? Sterne called his spontaneous writings “progressive digressions,” which seems an apt description for a blog. Then again, imagine a Samuel Beckett blog with his playful, pestilent, multilingual pennings.

SEARED TUNA WITH WASABI & SESAME SEEDS

2-3 T wasabi powder
1/3 C soy sauce
3 T peanut or canola oil
1 T dry sherry
2 t sesame oil
2 t peeled, minced fresh ginger
Pinch of dried pepper flakes
1 T rice wine vinegar
4 green onions, thinly sliced

4 6-oz ahi tuna steaks (Hawaii or U.S. Atlantic)—each about 2 inches thick
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Sesame seeds—white and black

1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced

In medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together wasabi powder, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons peanut oil, sherry, sesame oil, ginger, dried pepper flakes and rice wine vinegar. Taste and then vary quantities to suit your palate. Stir in green onions. Set aside.

Season tuna with salt and pepper and then coat liberally with sesame seeds. Firmly press seeds into the flesh with the palm of your hand. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add tuna and sear briefly until rare but slightly translucent in the center, about 1-2 minutes per side. Take care just to sear quickly and not overcook, but do not turn the tuna over repeatedly—just one turn. Slice tuna across the grain on the bias.

Serve sliced tuna around a molded cup of white rice tossed with roasted almond slices and green onions; then arrange the roasted asparagus spears to your artisitic liking on the plate. Strew jalapenos here and there over the tuna, then drizzle wasabi sauce over.

Pourboire: The tuna can also be served over a variety of greens, such as arugula, frisée, etc.

ROASTED ASPARAGUS

2 1/2 pound medium asparagus, trimmed
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400

Roast asparagus are best with spears that are a touch on the thicker side…more rubenesque. Snap a single spear toward the end so it breaks off naturally. Cut the remaining spears to match so they are of uniform length.

Toss asparagus with oil, salt, and pepper in a large shallow baking pan and arrange in 1 layer. Roast in bottom third of oven, shaking pan once about halfway through roasting, until asparagus is just tender when pierced with a fork, 8 to 12 minutes total.

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