Sesame-Crusted Ahi Tuna recipe

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

This main combines sesame seeds with the but tery texture of tuna and tofu, spinach, and some spectacular sauces. A great example of Japanese cuisine, bonito soy sauce is a simple combination of dried tuna flakes, soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine), and sesame oil. This dressing works wonders in flavouring tofu.

Tuna is considered a prize fish in Japan. There are many different varieties, but sushi grade ahi tuna is considered the best. It has an amazingly rich red colour, soft texture, and mild taste. When you’re buying ahi tuna, look for a plump, fresh looking fish with vibrant colours, a clean smell, and closely spaced, undamaged layers of flesh.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


Sesame-Crusted Ahi Tuna and Bonito Soy Sauce
  • ½ lb sushi-grade tuna, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 egg white, beaten until frothy
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp grape seed oil
  • Bonito Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup loosely packed bonito flakes
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¾ cup mirin
  • 6 Tbsp sake or cooking sake
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
Chili Spice Blend and Seared Tofu
  • ½ nori sheet
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 3 tsp orange or tangerine zest
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder or red chili flakes
  • 1 block medium tofu, sliced horizontally in half and cut into quarters
  • 2 egg whites, beaten until frothy
  • 1 Tbsp grape seed oil
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • bonito soy sauce
  • chili spice blend, for garnish
Gomae Salad and Marinated Radishes
  • ½ cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • ½ cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp grape seed oil
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • 1 bag spinach, stems removed, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • reserved bonito soy sauce
How to Make It
  1. Dip one side of tuna into beaten egg white, then into sesame seeds. Repeat with remaining tuna. Leave at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tuna, seed side down, and sear until lightly coloured, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 1 to 2 minutes. This will allow the temperature of the fish to rise slightly.
  3. Seared Tofu in Soy-Mirin Sauce
  4. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add bonito flakes and toast 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and crush bonito flakes with fingers.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sesame oil, and stir to combine.
  6. Add bonito flakes to soy mixture and stir to combine.
  7. Toast nori sheet over medium-low heat of burner, or in a small skillet. In a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, and poppy seeds together. Crumble nori sheet and add to seed mixture. Add orange zest, pepper, and chili powder, and stir to combine.
  8. In a shallow bowl, toss tofu in egg whites. Let sit 10 minutes.
  9. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add tofu and sear until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan. Add green onions to skillet and lightly sauté for 1 minute.
  10. Spoon 1 tsp of bonito soy sauce and sautéed green onions over each piece of tofu. Garnish with chili spice blend.
  11. Gomae Salad
  12. In a spice grinder, or using a mortar and pestle, grind sesame seeds. Transfer to a blender and add brown sugar, tahini, sake, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, and sesame oil. Blend at a low speed to combine. Slowly add ½ cup grape seed oil to emulsify dressing.
  13. In a large skillet, heat remaining 2 Tbsp grape seed oil over medium heat. Add green onions and sauté until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add spinach and salt and let spinach wilt slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and toss spinach with dressing.
  14. Marinated Radishes
  15. Place radish slices in a bowl of ice water to crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove and drain well.
  16. Just before serving, toss radishes with bonito soy sauce.

Leave A Reply