Tuesday, July 19, 2022



I was given some lovely tuna loins and I've come up with three different preparations for this fish.  My first tuna offering (the next two are forthcoming) is my take on tuna "salad."  No way is it your traditional and conventional tuna salad.

My version of a tuna salad has all the salad  fixin’s with fried wontons for “croutons” and it explodes with colors, textures, and flavors.  I served this on a bed of cilantro-lime rice along with a sriracha dressing and a soy sauce-based drizzle. .  Follow along here.

I started out with a nice tuna loin, which I sliced into steaks a good inch thick.  I'm going to marinate these steaks







Tuna is a fairly mild-flavored fish, so it’s an ideal candidate for taking on the flavors of a marinade.  I’ll marinate the fish while I get my prep work done.  For an acidic marinade, 30 minutes should suffice.  You don’t want to marinate for an excessive amount of time because the acidity of the marinade will negatively affect the texture of the tuna, in effect, “cooking” the tuna. 

¼ cup soy sauce
2 tsp gochujang sauce (Korean chili sauce)  You can substitute Sriracha or sambal oelek (Asian chili paste).
1 TB sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Mix all ingredients and add tuna steaks. Let marinate while you prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.


 For the rice: 
1 cup basmati or jasmine rice, cooked according to package directions
2 TB chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp lime zest
Add cilantro and lime zest to cooked rice.  Fluff with fork.  Taste test and season with salt as needed.
 Make the dressings.
Sriracha dressing: 
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 TB sriracha
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp honey
Combine ingredients.
 Soy sauce dressing: 
2 TB soy sauce or Tamari sauce
2 TB mirin
4 TB sugar
4 TB rice vinegar
Stir well until sugar is dissolved. 

Salad ingredients: 
Amounts are up to you.
Avocado, diced
Sliced cucumber
Sliced radishes
Sliced green cabbage
Sliced radicchio
Diced red onion
Chopped sweet peppers ( I used yellow, orange, and green for the pretty.)
Chopped red Fresno chili (I like a little heat.)
Sliced scallions
Sliced and fried wonton strips
Toasted pistachios
Toasted sesame seeds
Extra cilantro  





 Dice the avocado and toss in lime juice to prevent discoloration. I seasoned with a little kosher salt and togarashi seasoning.

  Togarashi is a blend of red chile, black and white sesame seeds, nori (seaweed), poppy seed, and lemon and orange zest.  It's quite a versatile seasoning.  Try it on scrambled eggs.







 Slice wonton sheets into strips and fry in 350° oil until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.

 To enhance the flavor of the pistachios and sesame seeds, place them in a single layer on baking sheet and toast at 325° for 8-10 minutes.  Give the pan a shake or two throughout baking.



 Next, heat your pan to HOT.  
Give it a film of peanut oil and heat to about 475°.
Throw in a pat of butter and let it sizzle and melt. 
Place in the steak.  I have a small pan here, so I'm cooking one steak at a time
so as not to lower the temperature of the oil.  You want a nice sear on that tuna.



   To cook the tuna steaks, I like the outside seared and the interior rare.  For this I use a hothothot cast iron skillet.  I heat my cast iron skillet over high heat, add in a swirl of peanut oil, and wait for the temperature to reach  475°.  (Oil will be shimmering.) Then drop in a tablespoon or more of butter.  Place the steaks in the pan and cook for 1- 1½  minutes on the first side. Do not crowd the pan.  Crowding reduces the temperature and you won’t get that nice sear. Turn over and cook 1 minute on the other side.   Remove from pan and let rest for 2-3 minutes before slicing and plating.

To assemble:

Mound rice on dish and spoon on some of the soy sauce dressing. 

Arrange seared tuna slices and salad ingredients on plate.  Drizzle sriracha dressing over top.  I like to add fresh, raw green cilantro seeds to the mix also.  Don’t look for them in stores.  You have to grow your own cilantro for that and the raw seeds are a treat.  A burst of potent cilantro and citrus flavors!


Tuna salad deconstructed.


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