Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Go To Dinner: Sesame Seared Tuna and Miso-Ginger Slaw

I call this a "go to" dinner not because it's economical, or because I usually have these ingredients on hand (I had to "go to" 2 different places to get them) but because it's relatively easy to prepare, it's insanely delicious and I keep going back to it time after time. I "go to" it for guests all the time, and I "go to" this recipe at least once a month for just my Hubby and I. The Sesame Tuna with Spicy Mayonnaise is a 5 ingredient recipe and only requires 5 minutes of hands on time. The Miso Ginger Slaw takes a strong chopping hand but it is the perfect accompaniment.

 The above bowl of slaw ingredients was around 3 dollars which is great...because those beauties on the right set me back 30 bucks.  Soooo worth it though.

Sesame Seared Tuna with Spicy Mayonnaise

Notes:  You can make either of these recipes separately.  They are both worthy contenders in their own right.  The tuna makes a great cocktail party snack when cut into smaller more cube shaped pieces, a couple of small bites really satisfies (see special instructions below for additional cutting tips).  Don't skip the Spicy Mayonnaise, it is a vital part of this dish.  Sriracha sauce can be found at large grocery stores, usually in the same spot you would find the soy sauce.


1 pound sushi grade tuna, 1 inch thick steaks,the freshest you can get
1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium is fine here)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup black sesame seeds (all white sesame seeds is fine)
Vegetable oil (I prefer safflower, sunflower or peanut oil for this)

Spicy Mayonnaise
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I recommend Hellman's, light is fine)
2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (more to taste if you like heat)

Place tuna steaks in a shallow glass baking dish or in a large resealable plastic bag.  Add soy sauce and marinate the tuna for 30 minutes turning once after 15 minutes.  Leave the tuna to marinate outside of the fridge, if the tuna comes to room temperature before cooking it will not be cold in the center after the brief cooking time.

To prepare the Spicy Mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha sauce in a small bowl.  Add more sriracha sauce a teaspoon at a time until you reach your preferred level of spice.

Remove tuna from marinade and pat dry with paper towels.  Place sesame seeds in a shallow bowl or on a plate and mix the two types together (if using).

Heat a frying pan over medium high heat.  Add enough oil to fully coat the bottom of the pan, make sure the oil and the pan are hot (you can throw a sesame seed into the pan and if it sizzles, your pan should be ready).  Working quickly, dredge the tuna pieces in the sesame seeds, turn to coat and lightly press the seeds into the tuna.  Add tuna to the pan and sear for 1-2 minutes per side, depending on the thickness.  You want the white sesame seeds to turn a golden colour and a crust to form (watch out this may spatter and it may create some smoke, but it will all be over in a minute).  The tuna is meant to be served rare inside but you can cook it for an additional minute or two per side if you prefer.

Slice the tuna into 1/2-3/4 inch thick slices and serve with the Spicy Mayonnaise.

Special Instructions
If you want to serve the tuna as a canape type appetizer, ask the fish monger to cut your steaks in 1 1/2 inch slices (careful, these extra thick steaks are pricey) then slice your large steak lengthwise into long 1 1/2" wide strips...into like, a cuboid or rectangular prism shape...ya know?  Sear the large pieces of fish on all 4 long sides.  When ready, slice into 1/2-3/4 inch pieces and top each piece with a small dollop of spicy mayo.

Asian Coleslaw with Miso-Ginger Dressing
Origin: Grace Parisi, Food and Wine


1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons white (shiro) miso
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
Pinch of sugar
3/4 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups shredded green cabbage
2 cups shredded red cabbage
4 medium carrots, shredded
6 radishes, shredded
6 green onions (scallions), white and light green parts only, sliced thinly

Place all the dressing ingredients (except salt and pepper) into a blender and process until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place all prepared vegetables in a large bowl.  Toss with half of the dressing.  Taste and add more dressing if needed.


  1. This sounds delicious - the fish, not the slaw (I am not a lover of cabbage, raw or cooked) but in Aus I have not come across "sriracha sauce". Where in Asia is it from?

  2. This really is an amazing recipe...but you gotta find the Sriracha! It's a Thai chili sauce that has garlic in it. I think it's often used as a condiment on it's own. It has a smooth consistency kinda like ketchup. Hope you can find it!