It’s been a goal of mine for awhile to start making more dishes with tuna. I never ate much fish when I was younger, and by the time I began to love it, tuna was always on the back burner. Sure it’s usually in sushi (which I LOVE and need to try making myself), but I have just finally realized the beauty of a perfectly seared, medium rare tuna steak.
The one thing not to do…overcook it! You’ll end up with tuna that’s tough and completely just breaks into chunks as you try to slice it.
So what should you do? Coat it in sesame seeds, cook it just for a couple of minutes per side and serve it on top of a beautiful salad with spicy Sriracha-leek vinaigrette! I soften the leeks a bit before using them in the vinaigrette. Sriracha, mirin, honey and orange combine into an intriguing vinaigrette that will make anything taste good…even greens. (Mirin’s just a type of rice wine used in Japanese cuisine). I run a couple of turnips and cucumbers across a mandolin before tossing them in. I like to slice vegetables really thin when adding them to salads so they can soak up all of that tasty vinaigrette. While the salad is nice on it’s own as a starter or side, the seared sesame tuna takes it to another level. The crunch from the outer layer of sesame seeds plus the tender tuna meat makes for a killer salad topping. And when that Sriracha-leek vinaigrette comes into play, you’ll never want to hate salad again. Enjoy!
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- 4 oz thinly sliced leeks
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 3 tablespoons sriracha
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ lb yellow campari tomatoes, wedged
- 4 oz thinly sliced turnips
- 2 oz thinly sliced cucumbers (see Kayla’s notes)
- 4 (1-inch thick) yellowfin tuna steaks (3-4 oz each)
- ½ oz sesame seeds
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- ½ lb mixed greens
- In a large pan heat the ¼ cup of oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for a few minutes, just until soft. Lower the heat and whisk in the mirin. Cook another minute. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the leek mixture, Sriracha, honey and orange juice. Drizzle in the remaining oil, whisking until incorporated. Season with salt. Toss enough vinaigrette with the yellow tomatoes, turnips and cucumbers so that they are evenly coated. Let them marinate for 10 minutes to soften.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the tuna steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Coat each steak with sesame seeds. When the oil is hot, add the tuna and cook for just 2-3 minutes per side (medium rare). Remove the tuna and let rest before slicing each piece against the grain.
- Toss the mixed greens with the rest of the vinaigrette (you may not need to use all of it). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve each salad with the marinated vegetables and a piece of sliced tuna steak on top.
- For both the turnips and the cucumbers, I use a mandolin to slice the vegetables paper thin (the turnips into coins and the cucumbers lengthwise).