ahi tuna with wasabi cream
this recipe to emulate a dish I had once at Legal Seafood in Boston.
This is a great recipe for dinner parties -- flashy, delicious,
and super fast and easy to make. The recipe is for an appetizer
portion, but you can easily double it for a dinner portion. The
key is to do all the make-ahead parts first, because the actual
cooking only takes about two minutes. You will coat the tuna with
Cajun spice, then sear it so that only an 1/8th inch layer around
the outside is cooked, while the inside is rare. Serve with an icy
cold pinot grigio or with sake.
salad mix or field greens, approximately one loose
cup for each serving
1 T powdered
wasabi, available in the Asian section of your grocery or in specialty
4 T heavy cream
2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
2 t sesame seeds
6 T soy sauce
5 t sesame oil
2 T seasoned rice vinegar
Two ahi tuna steaks, 1 – 1 ½ inches thick. Most grocery
store fish counters can get this if you ask ahead.
4 T powdered Cajun spice, such as Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood
Magic or McCormick’s Cajun Seasoning
Rinse the field
greens, spin dry, and place on one side of four separate plates,
leaving about one half of the plate clear. Slice the scallions thinly
and set aside. Mix the wasabi and cream in a small bowl until smooth
and set aside. Heat the sesame seeds in a small, nonstick pan, shaking
constantly, until they turn golden brown (or black, if you want
to get fancy). Put in small bowl and set aside. Mix the soy sauce,
sesame oil, and rice vinegar in a small saucepan. Heat over lowest
heat just until warm -- do not let it boil, as this will ruin the
Cut the tuna across
the width of the steak, with the grain, so that you have logs approximately
2 in. wide (you may wind up with a smaller triangle that is not
for the showy dish but that can be cooked similarly). Set the logs
on a plate and shake the Cajun spice onto the long sides (IMPORTANT:
DO NOT press Cajun spice on the short ends, as this is what you
will watch to determine cooking time), pressing into the tuna so
that you get a nice, thick coating.
Heat a nonstick
pan over high heat until hot. Brush the bottom with peanut oil.
Using a spatula, lay the tuna logs in the pan. Sear them for one
minute, watching the short, uncoated end to be sure they do not
overcook. You want a thin white layer around the outside and a rare,
red center. Note that the tuna will keep cooking a bit after you
remove it from the pan, so err in the direction of caution. Carefully
flip the logs to the other side and cook one minute.
Remove the logs
to a clean plate or to a cutting board and slice crosswise in ¼-in-
thick slices. Fan the slices over the field greens. Drizzle some
of the soy mixture over the tuna and the field greens. On the empty
part of the plate, make a pattern of dots or wavy lines with the
wasabi cream. Sprinkle with the sliced scallions and sesame seeds
for garnish. Serve with jasmine rice and steamed snow peas, on a
separate plate, if you're doing dinner portions.
can also coat the tuna with a mixture of regular and blackened sesame
seeds. This may slow the cooking so watch carefully.
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