Seared Wasabi-Sesame Tuna with Avocado Cream and Maple Soy Sauce

We laughed at ourselves as we picked out the tuna in the supermarket today. We got it from the section that sells top-quality fish for sashimi, bite-size slices of fish, eaten raw with only soy sauce and wasabi. We predicted that we were the only people in the store who were buying that fish with the intention to cook it; the outside at least. I think it would have offended the sushi chefs in the back. Oh well. We saw this Asian-fusion recipe in the Readers’ Favorite section of the April 2007 Bon Appetit. The two sauces that accompany the tuna – avocado and maple soy sauce – are brilliant together. It sounds exotic, but it was actually easy to make! It’s meant as an appetizer, but we ate it as a light meal with cucumber salad, bread, and Japanese Beer. East meets West, sort of. This recipe has been featured on

For the Tuna:

2 tuna steaks
wasabi (as much as you want … how adventurous are you feeling tonight?)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 TBS. canola oil for frying

  • Rub both sides of the tuna steaks with wasabi. Don’t touch your eyes (just kidding).
  • Pour the sesame seeds onto a plate. Press both sides of the tuna into the sesame seeds.
  • Heat the oil over high heat. When it’s hot, sear the steaks, about 20 seconds each side.
  • Slice the steaks into 1/2 inch slices. The middle should be nice and rare!

For the Maple Soy Sauce:

2 TBS. soy sauce
2 TBS. maple syrup

  • Combine the soy sauce and the maple syrup in a small saucepan.
  • Boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is reduced to half, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

For the Avocado Sauce:

1 avocado
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 TBS. water
1 TBS olive oil

  • Puree all ingredients, then pour into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

To Assemble the Dish:

  • On your plates, spread some avocado sauce in a circle, place the tuna slices in the middle, and drizzle the maple soy sauce on top.

For the Cucumber Salad:

2 cucumbers (1 if they’re large)
rice vinegar
salt & pepper
chili pepper

  • Slice the cucumbers and place in a small bowl. Add the other ingredients, tasting as you go, until you find the perfect combination of tangy and sweet.

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