This fancy dinner is infinitely easier than it sounds … truly.
One recent evening, after dinner with a friend, we found ourselves at the bar in a favorite Greektown restaurant where I was asked about searing tuna. We got caught up in a conversation of absolutes which of course was silly because every steak of tuna, every pan, every range, every burner, and every level of love will vary. The only absolutes when searing tuna is to ensure your tuna is well seasoned and your oil and pan are hot.
This mini menu would make a nice lunch too. Seared tuna can also be worked into salads or used as a filling for tacos, quesadillas or burritos.
Herein is also a foolproof method for making fluffy brown rice. This method works perfectly for white rice too, just reduce the steaming time to a mere 15 minutes.
For the spicy brown rice:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons house salt
1 teaspoon extra hot red pepper flakes
1 cup brown rice
2 ¼ cups water
For the soy-ginger sauce:
1/4 cup Tamari or soy sauce
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon prepared wasabi paste, then more to taste
2 tablespoons water
For the seared tuna:
The requisite number of skinless ahi tuna steaks
Black peppercorns in a pepper mill
Have ready: a square of foil 3 inches longer than the diameter of your saucepan
For the rice:
Heat a large sauce pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the oil then the butter and heat until the foam of the butter subsides. Add the salt and red pepper flakes and stir to coat. Heat another minute stirring constantly. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil and the spices. Continue to cook, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Step back and add the water (it will spit and sputter) and stir once the spitting subsides. At this point you can stir to your heart’s content until the mixture begins to oil. Once it starts to boil, place the square of foil atop the sauce pan and clamp (literally) on the lid and lower the heat to low. Set a timer for 1 hour, remove the rice from the heat and set a timer for 10 minutes. At this time the rice is ready to be fluffed with a fork, but it can be held for up to 2 hours with the lid still clamped on and will stay hot and until you fluff it with a fork.
For the soy-ginger sauce:
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until the wasabi paste is fully incorporated into the soy sauce.
For the tuna:
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Drizzle enough oil to coat the bottom of your pan and heat for another minute. Meanwhile, season the top side of the tuna with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the tuna in the pan, seasoned side down, then season the other side. Sear the tuna until you can see the edge of the tuna go from pink to white from the bottom to the center. Shake the pan to ensure the tuna will release (it will release when it is ready), then flip the tuna and sear the second side in the same fashion. Remove the tuna from the pan to a clean plate and tent loosely with foil.
For platting and presentation:
Scoop a serving of rice onto a dinner plate. Place a tuna steak on the plate, separate from the rice. Spoon some of the soy-ginger sauce on top of the tuna. Plate your vegetable, garnish as desired and drizzle some of the soy-ginger sauce around the perimeter of the plate.
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