I’ve been known to ask for sushi just for the soy sauce and wasabi. I want to be sorry for that, but I’m just not. I love the texture and the flavor of sushi, and will get adventurous and try pretty much anything, but in my book, a spicy tuna roll, drenched in soy sauce and topped with an irresponsible amount of wasabi, is as good as it gets.
I typically leave raw and/or seared fish to the professionals, but when I was at the grocery store last week without a list, which almost never happens, I was roaming the aisles looking for inspiration and saw the most beautiful tuna steaks and thought, “why not give it a try?”
I bought two of them, but easily could have gotten away with just one–neither K nor I finished ours. Finally armed with a vision of dinner, I grabbed some crab spring rolls, a couple of heads of broccoli, miso–another ingredient I typically leave to the professionals but bought anyway–and headed home.
I marinated them quickly in miso, soy, sriracha, a little oil, ginger and some rice wine vinegar then dried them off and coated them in sesame seeds. That, along with a screaming hot pan, was all I needed.
I baked the spring rolls and roasted the broccoli with a little lemon, and in no time at all I had a delicious dinner inspired by the thing that looked best at the market. Look at me! Shopping for dinner for that very night without a list. This is how I imagine Italians live. And maybe Californians.
I like my tuna rare, so I cooked it accordingly, but the great part about making tuna (or anything) at home, is you can make it exactly how you like it. If you like it well-done, you can avoid the condescending looks from the waitstaff and cook that thing to death. I won’t tell.
Sometimes all it takes to bring the restaurant into your kitchen is a little inspiration from the fish counter.
Here’s the recipe.
Sesame Seared Tuna Steaks (2 large steaks could easily serve 4)
- 2 large tuna steaks, sliced about an inch thick
- For the marinade
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons oil
- In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the marinade. Nestle the tuna steaks in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
- Once marinated, remove the tuna steaks from the marinade and pat very dry with paper towels. Coat each side with sesame seeds and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick pan for medium high heat. Let heat until shimmering–just before the oil begins to smoke. Add one tuna steak and let sear, without moving, for 1 minute. Lift the corner of the steak and check for a deep brown color–if you have it, carefully flip the tuna and let sear for 1-2 minutes more, depending on the level of doneness you like. Once seared, remove the steak, set it on a plate and cover it loosely with foil. Repeat with remaining tuna steak.
- To serve, slice the tuna against the grain. (I served mine like a steak, but like I said, one steak was way to much for one person, so I wished I had sliced it and served one steak for both of us). Serve with roasted broccoli, rice, and some spring rolls if you can find them!