This is a really nice way of making a dinner that feels that elusive combination of healthy and fancy at the same time. In the midst of an eating clean month last month I was hankering for something crunchy and fried. I’ll be honest, I was craving something like fried chicken but my head wasn’t allowing my belly to decide what I was eating…that day. I had some fresh tuna in the fridge but this recipe works equally well with salmon or another type of fish steak.
I was trying to think of something healthy but crunchy and settled on sesame seeds. They sent me on a Japanese path so I decided to use some wasabi paste to help the seeds stick to the fish. Then, to balance out the dense fish and crunchy coating I decided on a ginger and cucumber salad to top it off. I also made some kale and spring onion [green onion] brown rice too. Everything worked really well together. You don’t even need the brown rice as kale and onion together would work well and be very filling.
If you are cooking for a fish hater this may win them over – you could even cut the fish into fingers before covering with the sesame seeds to up the crunch to fish ratio. If they really are a hater then you could cut very thin slices of chicken breast and make little nuggets with the wasabi and sesame in the same way.
Ingredients (serves 2)
For the tuna and crunchy coating:
2 tuna steaks
1 tablespoon wasabi paste
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon olive oil or coconut oil
For the salad
Half a cucumber, cut into ribbons with a peeler
an inch of fresh ginger
a lime, juice and zest
For the kale rice
1 cup cooked brown rice (I cook a big batch then freeze it in individual containers ready for recipes like this)
a couple of handfuls of kale, shredded
4 spring onions [green onions], thinly sliced on the diagonal, green and white bits
a tablespoon or so of Tamari or soy sauce
a lime, juice and zest
optional – chopped chili to taste or sweet chili sauce
1. Put your sesame seeds on a small plate (big enough to hold a tuna steak) and shake them so they spread out into a thin layer
2. Use a butter knife or spatula to spread the wasabi all over the outside of the tuna – sides as well. You don’t want it to be very thick unless, like me, you love the nose tingle of wasabi
3. Press the tuna into the sesame seeds then flip, press again on the other side then roll the sides through the seeds until all side are covered. Set aside and repeat with the other steak. Set aside
4. Put your shredded kale and spring onion [green onion] into a large saucepan along with a couple of tablespoons of water. Put the lid on and cook over a high heat, shaking every minute or so without taking the lid off the pan. This should take around 3 minutes for the kale to wilt. Add the cooked rice and soy or Tamari to the pan, stir, drop the heat to low and replace the lid while it heats through. When the rice is piping hot add the lime juice and zest, chili if using and more soy or Tamari if it needs it
5. Heat a frying pan on medium high then add your oil. Once the oil is hot, place your tuna steaks into the pan. Cooking time will vary depending on how you like your tuna cooked, how cold and thick the pieces are and how hot your pan is. I cook mine for around 4 minutes on one side, keep an eye that the seeds aren’t burning. If they start too, drop the heat and flip the tuna. Check the centre for colour- the more opaque it is the more cooked it is. I like mine to still be rare in the middle
6. While the tuna cooks, use a speed peeler to shave ribbons off your cucumber into a bowl. Grate your ginger with a Microplane grater or chop it finely and toss with the cucumber. If you’re not sure about the strength of ginger, add it gradually, tasting as you go. Then add lime juice and zest and salt to taste.
7. Serve your tuna sitting on a pile of the kale rice and scoop some of the cucumber salad on top of the tuna. Leftover tuna is yummy crumbled into a salad the next day. It also makes an amazing sandwich.