Sunday, November 7, 2010

seared tuna with wasabi ginger drizzle

I had a "tuna burger" (actually, a piece of grilled tuna) with wasabi mayonnaise at a local restaurant recently, and while I enjoyed it, I would have really liked a sauce with more oomph. So when I saw especially good-looking tuna at the market yesterday, I decided it was my chance to come up with something better.

I wasn't aiming to reinvent the wheel, so I started with a heavy-on-the-wasabi mixture, then added other sushi complements that came to mind. Since I wanted a sauce I could slather on with abandon (!) I kept the fat content down by using equal proportions of light mayonnaise and nonfat greek yogurt as a base. Happily, it doesn't taste "light;" it is creamy, refreshingly gingery and clear-your-sinuses spicy - a perfect foil for seared tuna steaks. (Come to think of it, I'm sure it would be great on beef steaks too.) And if you have any left over, it would make a tasty spread for chicken, turkey or roast beef sandwiches.

Wasabi Ginger Drizzle or Sandwich Spread

1/4 cup Hellman's Light Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Fage 0% Fat Plain Greek Yogurt, or other Greek Yogurt
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons wasabi powder, to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chopped pickled ginger, to taste
1 teaspoon pickled ginger juice
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon

water, if needed for thinning

Mix all ingredients together except water. Allow to sit for at least an hour for flavors to develop. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

If a drizzling consistency is desired, thin sauce with a little warm water. Otherwise, top fish with a dollop of sauce, or use as a sandwich spread.

Note: You should be able to find pickled ginger and wasabi powder in the ethnic food section of large grocery stores or Whole Foods. If all else fails, there is always "the internets."

Seared Tuna Steaks

tuna steaks
soy sauce
toasted sesame oil
sake or dry sherry
peanut oil

Marinate steaks in a splash each of soy sauce, sake and sesame oil for at least an hour in the refrigerator, while the sauce is developing.

Coat saute pan with oil and heat until very hot but not smoking. Pat tuna steaks with paper towels to dry well; add steaks to hot oil in pan. Sear until nicely browned and crusty on first side. Flip steaks and repeat on other side until cooked to your preferred degree of doneness. (Remember, fish will continue to cook by residual heat after it is plated, so remove from heat just before you think it is done and let it rest a few minutes before cutting into it.)

Serve on a sandwich roll or plated with sauce drizzled over.

Sauerkraut update: For those astute readers who are wondering what ever happened to the sauerkraut, I'm sad to say it over-fermented while I was out of town! I like assertive sauerkraut, but not that assertive. I'll be starting a new batch soon.


  1. Wouldn't this be great on my favorite, swordfish? btw, I tried to leave a comment on the 'brisket' post and it wouldn't upload/post.

  2. ok, that went through ok, so I'll go make my comments on the brisket. and somehow I thought that you were going to do a post of potato-leak soup... that's what I'm going to make now that I am back home here.

  3. Hi Judy - Personally, I like the flavor of swordfish so much I don't know if I'd want to overwhelm it with wasabi! Sadly, I was just reading how seriously endangered bluefin tuna is so I'm going to have to pay more attention to the type of tuna I buy from now on.
    Didn't see a comment on the brisket; did you make it?? XOXO

  4. Tiner every time I read your blog it makes me want to be with you. Not that you have to cook for me- just going out to dinner with you is great because you are so into food it's like this little food orgy. The other thing that your blog makes me want to do is try your recipes and spice up things a little more around here!