Saturday, May 15, 2010

Seared Ahi Tuna From Earth Day (shown in photo)

This recipe is excellent if prepared on the outdoor grill using a well seasoned cast-iron skillet. (BTW: if you are using any traditional 'non-stick' cookware, throw it away and go buy yourself a large cast iron skillet. Cast iron skillets are a bargain at Bed,Bath,Beyond or even Target. If skillet is not already 'seasoned', be sure to follow manufacturers instructions on how to properly season before using). If you prefer to cook indoors, you can sear the Ahi stove-top on cast-iron as well. Very important: must use SUSHI GRADE (top quality) Ahi for this recipe . It may cost a little more but if it's sushi-grade you can be sure it's safe to serve raw in the center. Shown in the photo is yellow fin ahi, fresh (caught less than 48 hours prior) from Little Fisherman's Market, Redlands.

For marinade:

1/3 soy sauce
1/3 mirin (most markets carry it, it's made from sake)
1/3 sesame seed oil
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (use a microplane to grate fine)

Additional ingredients needed are:
Black sesame seeds (must be black)
Package of won-ton wrappers
Tbsp of grapeseed oil or veg oil. Soy oil will work well too. (don't use olive oil, must be oil which cook at a high smoke point).

Completely cover ahi steaks in marinade and leave in marinade, in refrigerator for at least 3 hours and a maximum of 7 hours. If longer, it will run the texture of the ahi. I usually marinade for about 4 hours.

Remove ahi from marinade, strain with cheesecloth or chinois ('china man's cap'), put aside. The marinade will be used to make the reduction but must be cooked first. Pat ahi dry and place in refrigerator. In sauce pan (don't use cast iron for this stage), cook strained marinade, bring to boil keep on medium/high heat and reduce by 1/2. This stage should take about 1/2 hour. Cut 6-10 won-ton papers into strips and cook in skillet with high heat oil until brown. You can also deep fry, but that's not necessary. Set won-ton strips aside.

Heat up cast iron skillet on grill or stovetop. Skillet should be shiny, if it looks dry or a bit dull- add very small amount of high heat oil to surface (I prefer soy oil). Remove ahi from fridge, make sure the surface is completely dry. Coat with black sesame seeds. Once pan is hot, sear presentation side down for approx 2 minutes. You should still be able to see pinkish, watermelon color through sides of ahi. The inside of fish should NOT be cooked. Turn ahi over, sear other side. Once cooled (approx 5 minutes max) it's ready to serve. Alternatively, you can place ahi back in refridge and serve cool hours later. Slice into thin strips just before serving (or after re-refrigerating). Drizzle reduction on top. Top with won-ton paper strips. Enjoy!

See photo on aide for presentation.

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