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Tuna Steaks!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Here I am feeling like I have reinvented the wheel with tonight's dinner but I'm sure you've all eaten fresh tuna.... I have not - not really. I love sushi but avoid the tuna because it tastes fishy to me. My Mother never served it to us growing up and all I know is canned tuna which I really like. For some reason I never thought of cooking with fresh tuna, didn't think I'd like it. Dummy me. I decided to make it last week. I marinated it for 20 minutes in a wasabi/soy mix, then rolled with sesame seeds and seared on both sides. It was great. I had some left over that I made into tuna salad the next day - best I ever had!

Tonight I made tuna steaks again and they were delicious! I sprinkled with salt, lots of cracked pepper, and dry oregano. I heated up a pan, poured in some olive oil and seared them on both sides. Served with salad and couscous. OMG this was the most delicious fish dinner I've made in a long time!

It's a new world to me so bring it on, what are some other good tuna recipes?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 10
If you have really good ventilation in your kitchen, you can rig a smoker and have tea-smoked tuna. :lips: I bought a stovetop smoker, which makes it easy to do, but if you don't have one, you can do it in a wok or Dutch oven. Line the pan with foil, put in a couple of tablespoons each of dry tea leaves, rice, and sugar. Put a rack on top of that. Turn on the heat until the stuff starts to smoke, then put the tuna on the rack, cover tightly (you might want to seal it with more foil), and smoke over medium heat for about 15 minutes. You can marinate the tuna beforehand, if you like, with soy and ginger.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 10
Quite often you'll find that fresh tuna loins, the triangular sections near the end, are cheaper. You can marinate if you like, but it's really not necessary. Just pat well dry, sprinkle all over with salt and let sit about 30 minutes, then sear over very, very high heat for about a minute per face. Remove, let rest a minute, then slice fairly thick -- it should be raw on the inside. If you like the soy glaze sort of thing, take 1 part soy sauce, 1 part sake (any kind will do, but NOT salted "cooking sake"), 1 part mirin (check the ingredients: if it's got a lot of corn syrup or something, replace with 3/4 parts sake and 1/4 part sugar or light brown sugar), and 1/2 part sugar; put all this in a small saucepan and bring to a strong simmer, stirring. Continue stirring occasionally as it reduces and thickens somewhat, then let it cool to room temperature. Roll your tuna in this right as it comes out of the pan, then remove and roll in sesame seeds (black and/or white) and/or lots of thin-sliced scallion rings. Pat the coating in and slice the tuna.

If you should ever spot very fresh katsuo (skipjack, bonito, etc. -- the names vary), do this with a whole loin on a grill with fine wires, maximum heat. Don't bother if the katsuo isn't extremely fresh: the Japanese say that katsuo goes off while it's still alive!
post #4 of 10
You could try sashimi style, as long as the tuna is fresh. Plate very thin slices, top with an apple salsa, and serve with ponzu and togarashi.

Failing that, I have seen a tuna crusted in sundried tomatoes that was pretty cool.

You could make tartare out of it, or serve it up in a sushi roll. I have even seen it chopped up, stuffed in nori and tempura fried.

Hope that helps.

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Great, I'm excited to try some of these new ideas, before long my husband will beg me to stop buying tuna for our Tuesday night seafood dinners haha. I've been getting the triangular shaped steaks you spoke of, I haven't actually seen a different cut at the fish store. I should ask for a loin? How does it differ in the way it looks?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #6 of 10
The triangular piece is what we call the "high twitch" muscle. While you will not notice a difference, keep in mind that you may find a little bit of connective tissue there once in a while.

As for the loin, you will find that you will see it is just a dark, uniform piece of meat, that you will not see very many white collagen lines. Thing is, it is usually sushi grade, so it will be a lot more expensive.

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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post #7 of 10
Okay, that's weird. I'm sure you're right -- you're a professional, after all -- but what I meant by the loin is what you're calling the high twitch muscle. In Japan, it's generally labeled by a term that would normally be translated "loin," so I guess I just assumed it would be equivalent.

Koukouvagia, I was talking about the thing you're buying, that funny triangular piece that doesn't cost a mint.

Sashimi
You will find that if you try to turn this "high twitch muscle" into straight-up sashimi, it doesn't block well for what you're probably used to, which is approximately rectangular slices. Now sashimi of that kind should really not be all that thin -- it's often served much too thin in American sushi joints. You should be able to get a good "bite" on it, really feel the texture between your teeth. But there are other ways when using a cut that doesn't block out this way.

If you are deft with a knife, and have a long, sharp knife, slice it with the grain, starting down near the thin end, at an angle sort of like slicing London broil. You want your slices to be as thin as possible without unduly stretching or shredding the fish. Now stack three or four slices with about a 50% offset, by which I mean you put one sheet down, put the next on top so its middle is at one edge of the first sheet, and repeat with the next slice in the same direction. Now roll the whole thing up from the first slice to the last, trying to put your finger just a little more on the thicker, wider end of the slices. When you turn this little roll on its side, the end you had your finger on down, you can gently brush the top edges outward and you'll get a little flower rather like a rose. This one is snapper (tai), but it works with most reddish fish:


If you know how to make sushi rice, you can do a different flower. Gently form a smallish sphere of rice, about the same size as you'd use for making nigiri-zushi, but round. Gently press down in the middle of one side to make a dimple, holding the other side flat against the stiffest part of your fingers to make it a little bit flat. Now lay your thin fish slices so the thinnest point is in the dimple and the widest part is out past the edge, and lay them gently overlapping one another, all the way around. In the middle, drop a very, very small ball of wasabi, and serve: this is supposed to look like a camellia blossom, apparently, though I wouldn't know a camellia if it bit me. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a decent photo of this: the photos I see seem to show a single slice wrapped around the dimpled rice, which is terrific but you're not going to be able to get that kind of slice out of this "high twitch muscle" so don't kill yourself.

Last but not least, remember that if you're cutting your tuna for sashimi or camellia sushi or whatever, you're going to end up with scraps. Chop these very coarsely and toss with fresh herbs, a little olive oil, capers, perhaps a bit of very finely minced shallot or red onion, perhaps a little bit of sesame seeds, whatever... and a pinch of salt and pepper. Use some kind of round mold -- or make one with a band of folded-up aluminum foil -- and pack it into a little cake on each plate. Serve with a lemon wedge on the side. For herb choice, use whatever (not rosemary!), but be very sparing with tarragon; my preference would be minced chives and chervil, and maybe a little bit of flat parsley if you like its flavor (which you will notice here, as one often does not).
post #8 of 10
I may have misunderstood a little bit. Happens all the time.

Very nice photos by the way! I would love to eat the snapper rose!

One thing that I like to do is use the scrapings from the skin, and any leftovers, combine them with a little togarashi, shoya ponzu, and mirin, then roll them in nori, tempura and serve just after the batter blooms. You get a nice tartare effect, and the crispyness of the batter.

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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post #9 of 10
Yanked it off Flickr. Don't give me credit -- for the photo or the plating!
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Now we're gettin fancy :roll:

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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