At home, I cook everyday, every single day. Den is not a great cook (doesn’t really wanna be either…) and since it’s a pretty big passion of mine, I am always the one who’s taking care of dinner.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t have a problem with that, Den and I made a deal: I take care of the cooking – he takes care of the laundry… Pretty good deal after all, right? 😉
However next to the cooking I am also a Creative Producer for G-Star RAW, which means that I am really quite busy during the week. As a Creative Producer I manage every single step of the launch of a new campaign, which means lots of brainstorming, creative reviews, problem solving, coordination… So during the week I must admit that cooking wise I have a bone-deep weakness for anything that looks hard but is confidentially easy. It gives me such secret, sneaky thrills. I love anything that I can be described as artless, or effortless, inadvertently fabulous, or accidentally perfect. I just sighed as I typed that. I’m serious.
This recipe is all those things: artless, effortless, fabulous, and perfect. The outside is crusted with nutty, toasted sesame seeds, and the tuna on the inside is cooked ever so slightly more than sushi rare. It’s light. You feel healthy eating it. The texture is so delicate it’s almost lacy, and with soy sauce, and some mango salsa, the flavor is phenomenal. When I swear to you that seared tuna is the easiest thing on Fait Maison so far, save maybe the Grilled Peach dessert I recently published, you’re not going to believe me. But it’s artlessly, effortless, fabulously, and perfectly true.
The whole thing is done to restaurant perfection in 15 minutes. It’s virtuous, but it’s also really impressive. If you invite your friends over, they won’t believe you made it. But you can say, artlessly and effortlessly, “Yes, I made this fabulous and perfect tuna all by myself!”
The only thing you need to think about, probably what you are thinking now, is about the tuna. Go to a good supermarket or a fishmonger or a gourmet store. You know the one–the one that’s probably slightly more fashionable or expensive than the other one near you. Ask for tuna steak, sushi grade. The flesh of the tuna should be red, not gray. If you have any doubts, ask the person behind the fish counter if they would be happy to eat the tuna raw. Trust yourself. You know what fresh fish looks like, just by animal instinct.
Seared Tuna with Mango Salsa served with Wasabi dressing:
Cooking time: 20 minutes
– 200 gr round piece of tuna steak
– 2 tbsp vegetable oil
– black sesame seeds, to garnish
– 1 mango, peeled and diced
– 1 garlic glove, crushed
– 1 tomato, diced
– ½ onion, diced
– juice of 1 lime, plus extra to serve
– radish, thinly sliced – for garnish
Sesame herb crust:
– 1tsp dried oregano
– 1tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted
– 1tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted
– 1tsp brown sugar
– 1tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
– 2 coriander sprigs, thinly sliced
– 2 basil leaves, thinly sliced
– 4 mint sprigs, thinly sliced
– 1tsp fresh ginger, pounded
– 1tsp garlic, pounded
– 1tsp sesame oil
– 1tbsp lime juice
– 1tsp sesame oil
– 1tsp wasabi paste
Combine all mango salsa ingredients in a bowl with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with a squeeze of lime. Mix well and set aside.
In a shallow dish, combine all the sesame herb crust ingredients. Add a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix together well. Roll the tuna in the mixture, coating it well.
In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients together. Set aside.
Heat a non-stick frying pan or wok to medium-high heat. Add the oil, then sear the tuna for 45-60 seconds on all sides, until browned.
Remove the tuna to a board and cut into slices 2 cm thick
Arrange the tuna on a bed of the mango salsa. Garnish with the sliced radish. Drizzle with the dressing, sprinkle with black sesame seeds and serve.
This tuna recipe is quite substantial and needs an equally full-bodied wine. A Pinot Gris would be a good pairing as it tends to be rich in fruit but has enough acidity to stand up to the lively dish.
However a light red or strong dry southern French or Spanish rosé would also be perfect with seared tuna – a Loire red such as a Chinon or Bourgueil or a light red burgundy.
The Dutch boyfriend’s opinion:
Imagine living with someone who cooks for you everyday. And she lets you taste all the flavors in the world, so that after almost seven years together you feel almost like you have tasted all of the flavors you could never have imagined. And then suddenly she tries something new and you can do nothing else but sit there flabbergasted by the joy and pleasure this new dish gives you. Where does it come from? The soft, juicy tuna? The amazing combination of seeds on top of it? Or the tender and calming mango salsa that goes with it? I still don’t know. I only know that this is my new favorite dish.