Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wasssuuuuppp? Wasabi!

Looking for inspiration? Craving something different? Sometimes it's hard to break out of the routine. But here is an easy and delicious way to do it! Kick it island style with a little Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Dipping Sauce.

I got my inspiration for this dish from one of my favorite places on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. While a nanny for a family on the island, I used to cherish my Sundays "off duty" and hit Iggy's Beach Bar at Bolongo Bay Beach Resort. The skewered tuna with wasabi sauce was my favorite thing to snack on while sitting on the deck and marveling at the clear waters and powdery white sands.

You can find individually frozen ahi tuna "steaks" in packages in your grocer's freezer section. Or, if you are lucky enough to live somewhere you can get the fresh stuff, well then I am jealous. If it's the frozen variety you'll be using, you really only need to partially thaw it according to the package directions. This is a fish that really should be prepared rare to medium-rare, otherwise it quickly resembles tuna from a can and is extremely dry. Fresh, or completely thawed fish will require very little cook time.

Marinade the tuna (10-20 minutes) in a glass dish or plastic bag in a mixture of a little sesame oil, low sodium soy sauce, honey, salt, pepper, and fresh lime juice. Heat a pan to medium-high with about a tablespoon of sesame oil. While it heats, remove the tuna from the marinade and roll in sesame seeds (white and black) until it is covered in a nice crust. Sear the fish for approximately 2 minutes on first side, 1 on the other. The sesame seeds should brown, and the fish will be medium rare. If you just can't stand the thought of medium rare, cook additional 2 minutes on the flip side to bring it to medium. If it rests for any amount of time, residual heat will cook it slightly more.

Dipping sauce: Whip up plain Greek yogurt or mayo, wasabi, a dash of soy sauce, drop of sesame oil, squeeze of lime, and garnish with sesame seeds .

Serve with simple sides like a micro green salad dressed with a little oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; and bed of whole wheat couscous. Now kick back and imagine the sound of the waves crashing and sip on a fruity drink!

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