My friend Gabriella has a husband who fishes. In fact, I think he has fished around the world. As a result of all this fishing, she always has one whole freezer fully stocked with different kinds of fish – tuna, redfish, wahoo, snapper, you name it. And lucky for me, they often share.
So today I decided to make some tuna steaks that I’d just gotten from Jim and Gabriella. For me, it’s a tie between salmon and tuna for first place favorite fish. Tuna is so meaty, and yet has a delicate flavor, which is why, of course, it’s so good as sashimi or tartare. Tuna steaks are fabulous as is, as an entrée, or still warm, flaked over greens.
I’m going to cook these steaks using Asian ingredients, just because they lend themselves so beautifully to tuna. Call this Asian-inspired tuna.
So with only a few ingredients I created a delicious light lunch of tuna with a side of fresh asparagus. Thanks Jim and Gab!
4 tuna steaks*
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (rice wine)
Grapeseed oil or peanut oil
Sesame seed oil
First, clean off the thawed tuna steaks if necessary, and gently slice off the tough skin. Jim wipes them off with paper towels. Gabriella says to rinse them first in water and them gently wipe them off. I just left mine alone because they looked fine. Place them in a baking dish.
Mix together the soy sauce and mirin in a small bowl. Brush the steaks with this mixture, and then pour the remaining marinade into the dish.
I marinated the steaks for about one hour, which allowed them to come to room temperature. Turn the steaks around to marinate all sides.
When you are ready to cook, remove the steaks to paper towels to dry them off.
Heat the oil and a few drops of sesame seed oil to a skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, cook two steaks at a time and sear all sides. Remove them to a plate, and continue searing the last two using a little more oil, or just some sesame oil, if you think it’s necessary. We’re only searing here, so it goes pretty quickly.
After the searing, lower the heat in the skillet, and cook the steaks until they are pink or red in the middle whatever your preference is. I prefer red over pink, as long as the inside isn’t cold.
Now it’s time to steam the fresh asparagus. As long as you don’t ignore the tuna.
Serve the tuna and asparagus warm. You could always serve soy sauce or a soy sauce-based dipping sauce, but this tuna was so fresh and tender that nothing else was required.
The inside of the tuna was perfectly cooked with a touch of redness. I would also let my husband fish all around the world for this kind of a meal!!!
* From what I understand, once the fishermen get to land, the Captain oversees the deck hands immediately cleaning the fish, cutting them into filets and steaks, vacuum sealing them, and then freezing them. So my steaks were all different sizes. Of course, you must take care in treating each steak size differently, or the larger ones might be perfect, and the smaller, thinner steaks overdone.