At least somebody is getting dressed up around here. If you are fortunate enough to be able to find raw tuna right now, this is my favorite way of preparing fresh tuna steaks. Thankfully, Out of the Blue has pretty good stock right now on the East End of Long Island, especially for local fish.
SHOPPING LIST: 2 lbs. raw tuna, soy sauce, sesame seeds, grapeseed oil, salt, pepper
When you get your tuna steaks home, marinate them in 1 cup of soy sauce. I like to marinate them in a closed container for at least an hour (turning the container upside down every 15 minutes or so *if I remember* so the the steaks are marinated evenly). Once you remove the tuna from the marinade, lay them onto a cutting board and season with salt and pepper. Then take your sesame seeds – I used the black and white variety hence the moniker “tuxedo tuna” – and cover one entire side of the tuna steaks with the sesame seeds. I like to use a paper towel to press the sesame seeds a little deeper into the tuna to make sure it sticks.
I prefer to cook this in a cast iron skillet but any steel pan would do. Add about 1/4 cup of oil – enough so it coats the entire bottom of the pan – and bring it to its smoke point over high heat. Sear the tuna steaks, sesame-side DOWN. As soon as you place the tuna steaks in the pan, you want to season the remaining side with salt and pepper. I seared my steaks for 2 minutes on each side because they were over 1 inch thick!! If your tuna steaks are thinner, try for 60-90 seconds each side. You will be able to see the seared side turning white and cooked rather quickly, so you just want to make sure you have a thick sear on the outer perimeter and that your inside flesh stays raw and bright red. **You can always COOK MORE, NOT LESS, so proceed with caution – you can always put the tuna back into the pan**
Since these are TUNA steaks, it’s not a problem to slice the flesh right away, cutting against the grain, of course. However, I prefer to enjoy this style of tuna ROOM TEMPERATURE. I served mine with Kikkoman Wasabi Sauce but you can always create your own wasabi from any wasabi powder + water and then mix it with mayonnaise if you’re looking for a creamier consistency.
UPDATE: Seared Tuna Tacos
SHOPPING LIST –> So you can plan your use of leftovers accordingly! –> corn tortillas, soy sauce, avocado, lime, wasabi sauce, wasabi peas, salt, pepper
Chop your leftover seared tuna and toss with 1 tsp. of soy sauce. Toast 6 mini corn tortillas, stacking them into piles of 2. Mash 1 avocado with the juice and zest of one lime and season with salt and pepper. Layer the smashed avocado onto each pile of tortillas. Top with the chopped seared tuna and a drizzle of the same wasabi sauce as above. Finish with crushed wasabi peas!