Tuna Tataki

This is such an easy recipe and the taste is amazing. To start, you have to purchase some good tuna steaks. Fresh tuna is very expensive right now, but there are certainly frozen varieties that are fine to use. I actually purchase my steaks from Market Street. They have a seafood freezer where they have a great selection of shrimp, scallops, and fish. The tuna is hidden in there :). You can purchase two steaks for roughly $12-$18 dollars.
You only need to partially thaw the tuna before you cook it. I usually let it thaw in cold water (still in its vacuum pack) for about 30 minutes. It should be sort of soft on the outside, but still very firm or partially frozen in the center. Get a large bowl of ice water ready and set aside. While the tuna is thawing, this is a good time to fix your rice. It can be cooking while you are preparing the dressing and the tuna.

For the Dressing:
4 Tbsp Soy sauce plus 2 tsp
2 Tbsp Rice wine vinegar plus 2 tsp
4 tsp Water
1 tsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Peanut oil plus 1 tsp
2 Tbsp Sesame oil plus 1 tsp

Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, water and sugar and whisk well. Continue to whisk oils slowly into the soy sauce mixture. You can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Set aside until ready to use.

Cooking the tuna:
Remove partially thawed tuna from the packaging and place on a cutting board. Sprinkle kosher salt on both sides and then completely cover with fresh ground pepper on both sides.
Preheat a non-stick skillet to medium high and let it get really hot. Place the tuna in the skillet and let it cook just until the side that is facing down begins to turn solid gray, but only a few millimeters thick. Turn and cook the other side the exact same amount of time, or until the solid color is the same thickness as side one. This happens FAST. You should also begin to see solid juices running out and striations in the fish just start to appear. Take it from the heat and immediately place in ice bath. The ice bath stops the cooking and allows the center of the fish to thaw completely, while keeping it very cold.

Get your choice of greens ready to go in your salad bowl. I usually use mixed greens, but arugula works well,too. Note: arugula is spicy! You might want to mix it with another type of green lettuce.

Take the tuna from the ice bath and pat dry with paper towel. Put back on cleaned cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice the tuna into thin slices. Use the parts of the tuna that won’t slice as a topping for the middle of your salad. I call these “nuggets”.

Lay the tuna slices on top of the salad greens. Drizzle your dressing on top and serve with a side of rice. You can also top with cilantro. Enjoy!

Mary Cabral, RD/LD
www.rudog.com