Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Vinaigrette
It’s come to my attention that I’ve been a bit remiss when it comes to Fancy Fridays. Apologies. Maybe it will be Fancy every-so-often Fridays.
Anyways, I’m here with a recipe for seared ahi tuna with wasabi vinaigrette. With a properly heated pan, good-quality tuna and the correct ingredients for the vinaigrette, this recipe is so easy it’s not even fair. Fun fact I learned while preparing this – contrary to popular belief, searing the fish does not “lock in flavor” but rather creates a flavorful and attractive crust. I’ll take it!
The dish is presented here with wasabi mashed potatoes, which I hope to share in a future Chef Juje post.
Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Vinaigrette
1/2 green onion, thinly sliced (though I left out because I didn’t have!)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Wasabi paste (recipe calls for powder; I used paste because I had it for mashed potatoes)
1 tsp pickled ginger (julienned, plus more for garnish with tuna)
juice of 1/2 lime
3/4 tsp sugar
1/2 pound tuna (I used good-quality frozen; fresh is best!)
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tsp and 1/4 tsp salt
grapeseed oil (for searing)
Make the vinaigrette
1.) mix lime juice and wasabi powder or paste
2.) add vinegar, sugar, 1/4 tsp salt and oil – whisk to combine
3.) add in ginger and green onions
Prepare the tuna
1.) layer salt and pepper on the cutting board. Seriously pile the salt and pepper on thick.
2.) Add a touch of olive oil to both sides of the tuna
3.) Press the tuna onto the cutting board so that all sides are covered in pepper and salt. Seriously, pepper the heck out of this thing.
4.) preheat the pan to medium-high heat. I used it just a touch over medium. Sear each side, including edges, just until the golden crust forms.
5.) After all sides are properly seared and browned, place on a cooling rack.
Serve with the wasabi vinaigrette, pickled ginger and wasabi mashed potatoes (recipe coming soon).
Things I learned/Helpful Hints/Question for Readers: I was a little afraid to cook the tuna any more rare than this because only flash-frozen tuna was available. Does anyone know if such tuna can be cooked rare?
The salt actually extracts water from the fish, so pat the fish steaks dry before putting them in the pan. Otherwise the fish might steam and not sear properly.
I didn’t cut the ahi into smaller pieces, though for more fancy presentation that might be a good idea!