Are you a dinner recipe planner or do you fly by the seat of your desires once your cute striped TOD’s hit the front door of your favorite grocery store?
I wish I was a better grocery shopping planner. But then if I was, I wouldn’t have found these amazing tuna steaks at the good old Costco. And because I would have had a list I was compelled to follow, I probably wouldn’t have deviated from said written word. And then, I wouldn’t have shared these lovely meaty fishes with you. Meaty fishes? Oxymoron. But still.
When we lived in Venice, we didn’t have to buy fish from the good old Costco. We had Santa Monica Seafood which for anyone who has a crush on fish is like a the sparks that fly between Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Silver Lining Playbook. Why oh why did he not win Best Actor. His baby blues deserve their own award, stat.
SM Seafood had a plethora of fish, every single day. Stuff you’ve never heard of. But the tuna was crazy good. But given we were on the pacific coast, we didn’t always have to get our tuna from the store.
Nope, we had Jimmy for that.
Jimmy was our friend who lived at the end of the street. (Here he is last year when he visited us in Utah and popped the question to his soon to be bride.) Jimmy had friends who had boats. And they’d go out on those boats and head down to San Diego and fish. And fish. And fish.
And then he’d come home and we’d get the call. The call to bring the wasabi and soy sauce and pickled ginger.
And we would stuff our faces for hours on fresh tuna, caught that morning. For an entire evening we’d eat chunks of fresh tuna with as much fervor as a NASCAR fan gnawing on a turkey leg at the track. I know first hand, because I’ve done that too.
Oh, but that tuna. There was only so much fresh fish we could eat, and we tried, washing it down with cold Kirins and unfiltered sake akin to a Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. I know, it was sad. So, so sad. That’s when we’d move to the cooked stuff, grilled and served with a sauce that was very reminiscent of this lovely recipe from Elise.
My husband was in charge of dinner choices for the night and whenever he’s looking for a recipe, his search always begins and ends with the internet. Yep, he’s a fan of a lot of food bloggers too. It runs in the family.
Tuna is a special fish, sort of the homecoming queen of the aquatic animals. It’s certainly a favorite around our house, and we’ve discovered a few cooking tips to keep in mind.
1. Choose a high-quality tuna, sushi-grade if you can find it. Many Whole Foods Markets stock it in their fish cases or you can order online and have it freshly delivered to your door. If you can’t find sushi grade, go for the freshest smell and reddest flesh you can find.
2. Sushi grade tuna is not meant to be marinated. Like a great steak, a simple sprinkle of salt and pepper is really all you need to enhance its own fresh flavor. If you aren’t a fan of that fishy taste, tuna is a great start for you with a meatier texture and sweeter, mild flavor. You owe it to yourself to give it a try if you’re a little shy with the fishes.
3. Another steak analogy: Like a fine steak, tuna is meant to be served rare. Pat the sides dry, and cook in a lightly oiled hot skillet for just one or two minutes per side to create a fine sear and just gently warm the inside of this delectable treat. Overcook it and it will dry out in a heartbeat.
4. To ensure even cooking, set the tuna out to come to room temperature for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
5. While tuna does have a small amount of mercury, the healthier benefits outweight the potential harm. Small children and pregnant women should avoid undercooked fish, which just leaves more for the rest of us. Thank you friends!
Seared Ahi Tuna with Asian Avocado Salsa
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 4 limes juiced
- zest from 2 limes
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 ½ red jalapeño chiles minced, plus ½ red jalapeño thinly sliced
- 2 green onions finely sliced
- 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 8- ounce sushi grade ahi tuna steaks
- 1 ripe avocado pitted and diced into 1 inch chunks
- ¼ cup pea shoots
- 2 cups steamed green beans
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- cilantro for garnish
- Combine the ginger, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, orange juice, cilantro, jalapeno, soy sauce, honey, salt, sesame oil and olive oil in a large bowl. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet on high add the canola oil. Sprinkle the tuna steaks with salt and sear in skillet for 1-2 minutes, depending on thickness, on each side.
- Place ⅓ cup or so of sauce on a plate and place the tuna on top of the sauce with the green beans on the side. Add more sauce to the top of the tuna and garnish with avocado, jalapeno slices, cilantro and pea shoots. Dress the green beans with 1 teaspoon or so of the sauce and garnish with more cilantro and sesame seeds.
Thanks to those of you who made your opinions known and shared your thoughts on some of the upcoming tweaks to the blog. I really appreciate your input. After all, I’m here because of, and for you.
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