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Author Notes: I’m a sucker for ahi tuna (as seen here, here, and here). I can’t think of a fish that tastes better, is cleaner, and as beautiful as tuna from the yellowfin variety often used for sushi.
At night, I’m what one might refer to as a “Foodgawker Troll”–one of those bloggers who falls asleep with the app in her hand as she clicks on pretty images, reads recipes, and dreams about making them.
Friday night I stumbled upon a simple Seared Sesame Tuna Recipe with Asian Dipping Sauce and Saturday, I jumped at the opportunity to make it.
Courtesy of a recent blog post by Sarah Nix at the mor.sl food blog, I was perhaps drawn to this recipe because the tuna was so gorgeous with its encrusted black and white sesame seeds, or because, just maybe, Sarah is a (pre-dissertation) graduate student who writes a food blog just like me. Whatever the case, I’d like to shake this girl Sarah’s hand and make her some tuna.
I’ve adjusted Sarah’s recipe somewhat–especially with regards to her dipping sauce–and increased the amount of tuna required for the dish. Since I was serving three people, it seemed right that everyone should have as much of the sashimi and broiled versions of the tuna I made with plenty of dipping sauce to go around. We ate the meal with chilled sake, antipasti, and a slew of greens for a perfect early summer dinner on my patio. —Helana Brigman
- 2 tablespoons Sake
- 2 teaspoons White Miso Paste
- 4 teaspoons Ginger, freshly grated
- 1/3 cup Orange Juice
- 2 tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 Dried Red Pepper, pulsed to a powder (can sub. 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes)
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- 1 1/2 pounds Ahi Tuna (yelowfin grade)
- 4 tablespoons White Sesame Seeds
- 3 tablespoons Black Sesame Seeds
- Sesame Oil, for coating pan
- In a bowl, whisk together sake, miso paste, ginger, orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper, and sesame oil until fully combined (note: this means whisking until the miso paste has fully disintegrated meaning there are no clumps, but a smooth, fully incorporated Asian sauce). Dispense sauce into several serving bowls for number of dinner guests.
- In a small bowl, toss together black and white sesame seeds. Reserve for coating fish.
- Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut tuna against the grain for a delicate cut (as seen here) and plate.
- Dip edges of tuna into white and black sesame seeds to coat sides fully (do not overcoat). Dip to encrust all sashimi pieces.
Serve as sashimi (without cooking) or cook quickly in sesame oil. To cook, warm a non-stick pan with sesame oil over medium heat. Place tuna in pan and cook for thirty seconds on each side being sure not to overcook. Transfer fish to plate and repeat with the rest of your tuna.
Serve with Asian Dipping Sauce and chopsticks.