Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I love the fishes because they're so delicious :)

Mmmmm...ahi tuna. Is there anything fresher, cleaner, or purer than rare ahi tuna? I *love* seafood. Period. But, my my my, I really LOVE ahi tuna. I particularly adore it rare -- barely warmed and silky textured.

D and I picked up a slab of fresh ahi at our local farmer's market. It was caught that day and never frozen -- clearly we could not resist.
We brought our prize home and discovered Fudge, attacking a fish of his own. Here he is, gleefully pouncing on his stuffed puffer fish:

Hee hee. Isn't he cute?

Anyway, along with the beautiful piece of tuna we picked up some asparagus, brussles sprouts, fuji apples, arugula, spring garlic shoots, baby bok choy, and thai broccoli (among other wonderful things). I also had a container of black sesame seeds that I had purchased a few weeks ago that had been burning a hole in my pantry. Soon the plan for dinner formed -- black sesame seared tuna with a mixed veggie stir fry on a bed of soba noodles.

A spring garlic shoot -- absolutely delicious, pungent, and crisply fresh. I buy as many as possible during the spring and use them in everything -- green tops included.

The baby bok choy, the sliced spring garlic shoots, the mushrooms, and the diced ginger -- all ready for the wok.

Black Sesame Seared Tuna with Ginger Garlic Stir-Fry (serves 4)


--1lb ahi tuna, cut into personal portion sizes
--salt and pepper to taste

--black sesame seeds

--2 inches of peeled ginger root, finely diced
--1 teaspoon rooster sauce, or more to taste
--2 tablespoons soy sauce
--2 tablespoons rice vinegar
--splash of sesame oil
--splash of fish sauce (optional)
--3 bunches baby bok choy, approximately 5 cups uncooked, cleaned and cut into very large pieces
--3 shoots spring garlic, cleaned, and roughly chopped (both white and green parts)
--8 oz mushrooms of your choice, cleaned and quartered


1) Set ahi tuna out about 30 minutes before you are ready to cook. The closer it is to room temperature, the better. (You're only going to cook it for about a minute, so starting it at room temperature ensures that the middle won't be ice cold.)

2) Season the tuna with salt and pepper and then dredge it in black sesame seeds, completely covering all visible red (no coating needed, the seeds stick to the tuna naturally). Set aside for a few minutes, you'll sear it just as you are finishing the stir fry.

3) Heat the fresh ginger, rooster sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and fish sauce in a wok. When it is bubbling, throw in the mushrooms and spring garlic.

4) Stir fry the mushrooms and garlic for about 5 minutes.

5) Add the bok choy to the wok, stir fry for another 2 minutes and then turn off the heat.

6) Heat a thin film of oil (I used a mix of olive and sesame) into a frying pan on high.

7) When a drop of water will dance on the surface of the frying pan, carefully place the tuna, piece by piece, into the pan, not crowding them too closely.

8) Cook the pieces for 30 seconds, and carefully flip over. Cook for another 30 seconds on the other side and then remove from heat.

To Serve:

Place cooked rice or soba noodles on a plate. Layer stir-fried veggies on top. Slice the tuna on the bias, and lay carefully over the veggies. Serve with wasabi soy dipping sauce (powdered wasabi with a bit of water and a generous glug of soy sauce added).


Do NOT overcook the tuna. This is dish is all about enjoying the glorious clean taste of the very rare tuna. If you buy high quality ahi tuna, eating it mostly raw (or totally raw) is completely safe (and extremely delicious). Also, be careful not to use too much oil to sear the tuna -- you'll make it greasy.

As served--the wasabi soy dipping sauce on the side. YUM!

The vegetables were still crisp, intensely garlicy, and gingery. The fish was tender and sweetly clean tasting. The noodles were a soft backdrop and the dipping sauce a spicy/salty counter point. Everything was wonderful -- don't be intimidated by this meal; it is easy and delicious. Enjoy!

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