March 2, 2006


So after reading about Stephen’s fun with wasabi-pea encrusted tuna, I had to give it a go, especially since I had a tin of the dried peas in the pantry Sadly, it turned into a learning experience. The market had a nice sale on sashimi-grade ahi, and I picked up a big hunk. I made my first mistake here, and selected a very thick piece. It was lovely, but I should’ve trimmed it into two steaks. I was worried about it being too rare (I know, I know), and ended up cooking it too long. I should have quit while I was ahead and made tuna salad, but as I had already made a couple of sauces to go with, I was trapped. I was lucky in that my partner T. is not a fan of rare or raw fish, and she thought it was just lovely cooked the way it was.  Some post-mortem thoughts: sear the tuna well on each side, but be careful – I found that the wasabi pea-crust burned easily. Tuna cooks awfully fast. Had this been beef, it would’ve still been rare in the middle. As it were, I cooked it almost all the way through (hangs head in shame). The dipping sauces came out quite nicely and would work well with almost any sashimi. They are strong flavors. I made two versions of each – one with low-salt soy and one with the traditional, and both worked for me.crusted tuna:
Since I basically copied this idea from another site and took my own liberties with it, I won’t go through the prep for the fish as he does such a nice job. However, I decided to serve it with a number of different sauces and they are included below.

wasabi sauce
1 cup white wine
1/2 stick butter, unsalted
1 small shallot, rough cut
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tbs wasabi paste
1 tbs soy
1 splash olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Add wine, vinegar and the shallots to a hot pan. Reduce by about 2/3, and remove the shallots with a slotted spoon or sieve. Stir in the wasabi and soy and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the butter (should be softened), and serve warm.

shallot sauce
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp rice or red wine vinegar
1 tbs chives
3 tbs shallots
Heat the vinegar over a low flame, and add the salt and sugar. Stir till they are dissolved and remove from heat. Once cool, whisk in the shallots and chives. Serve cool.

soy-ginger sauce
6 tbs soy sauce
1 thumb sized piece of grated ginger
1 small red (hot, not bell) pepper

Skin and grate the ginger into a small bowl. Seed and mince the chili, add to the ginger and mix well with the soy. Yes, it is quite strong.

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