Sunday, August 28, 2016

Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna with Cilantro, Scallion, Jalapeño, Soy, Ginger & Lime Sauce

Gone are those days when Ahi tuna was the Gucci/Hermes/Louis Vuitton of the sea - a luxury item that us plebeians could only occasionally stare wistfully in the distant horizon and think deep, dreamy thoughts about, mostly along the lines of, whaaaaa?!!! Wtf! What are they charging for this stuff?! No way!!! etc., etc...But I digress... Ahi is now widely available (Costco, Albertsons, Ralph's Trader Joes, and 99 Ranch Market come to mind) and totally affordable -Trader Joe's sells a good quality frozen Ahi from Spain for only $7.99/lb. Since Ahi is best seared quickly over high heat so that the center stays rare (overcooked tuna is unpalatable and a mortal sin), this super simple, fresh, and flavorful preparation will give you dinner in a flash. Pour yourself a glass of grassy-crisp Sauvignon blanc or fav beer, and you'll be in pescatarian heaven in no time, even if you're not really a pescatarian. That would be the alcohol talking. 

4 Ahi tuna steaks, about 6 oz. each
Kosher salt
Black pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and sliced into thin rings
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
1 scallion, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lime (about 1 tbsp.)
1 tbsp. light (low sodium) soy sauce
2 tbsp. water
2 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. sesame oil

Avocado slices, sprinkled with a little lime juice (optional for garnish)

1. Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a measuring cup or bowl; set aside.

2. Very lightly salt & pepper the ahi steaks on both sides.

3. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a saute pan over high heat. Sear the tuna about 2-3 minutes per side until nicely browned, but with the center still rare (I also briefly sear the sides of the tuna steak using tongs to stand them up).

4. Remove the ahi steaks from the pan to a chopping board. Slice each steak into 1/3" slices across the grain, and place onto individual serving platters.

5. Pour some of the sauce over the tuna slices and serve with a small scoop of steamed white rice on the side.

 Combine the sauce ingredients together in a bowl or measuring cup.

 Rinse and pat the filets dry with paper towels. Lightly season both sides with a little kosher salt and black pepper.

 Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a saute pan over high heat and sear about 2-3 minutes each side, until lightly browned but the center still rare. 

 Remove the filets immediately to a chopping board and slice into 1/4" slices.

 Plate and drizzle a generous amount of the sauce over the slices. Steamed white rice is a great accompaniment.

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