Saturday, 21 February 2015

Seared Sesame Tuna with a Soy, Ginger and Lime Seaweed Salad and Daikon Noodles (includes Thermomix method)

When you eat out... and enjoy it so much you want to eat it all over again at home!

Not an exact replica of what I ate, but my interpretation of the flavours I enjoyed the most with a few extras... I do *love* eating sashimi, and the flavours of Japanese food - and I also love the additional flavour that is added by just searing the outside of fish like tuna and salmon before slicing it.

I love the umami flavours of seaweed and soy, perfectly balanced by the acidity of lime juice, and the fresh, crisp heat of radish and the nuttiness of toasted sesame seeds and oil - my seaweed salad is inspired by Kaiso salad.

And the best thing? Not only is this ridiculously tasty, and a real 'treat', it's really easy to throw together with minimal cooking AND... what's more, it's incredibly good for you too, which is just a coincidental fringe benefit! Recipe serves one, easily doubled (or quadrupled!), from 297 calories a portion.

As well as the healthy oils from the avocado and the tuna (less so being a lean form of protein, but great for omega-3 fatty acids amongst other goodies), and the goodness of raw vegetables, there is also the wealth of nutrients you get from the dark green sea vegetables that you just don't get from land vegetables. Did you know that seaweeds provide ALL of the 56 minerals and trace minerals required for the body's physiological functions, and 10-20 times the minerals of land vegetables - there's an amazing article here full of information about the numerous health benefits (backed up by numerous other research articles, with a couple of recipes too) which I highly recommend reading when you get a chance. I love it when the food I love, loves me back! And did you know Japan is ranked highest for life expectancy in the world...?

However, enough eulogising, and onto a recipe...

This can serve as many as you like, as the salad can be left for the flavours to develop and the tuna can be seared and chilled, before slicing and serving. So an easy, fuss free meal which is simple to plate up and serve. (Salmon would be equally as good in this dish as tuna - either way just make sure the fish is sashimi grade or treat it appropriately if serving raw).

I've put the ingredients here for a 'single serving' - so just for one. As there's not really any cooking, it couldn't be simpler to 'up-size' this, just double it up for two etc. - you're only mixing the salad dressing and then tossing the (majority of the) other ingredients in there, so no complicated calculations and head-scratching!

Without further ado... 

[Calories in square brackets, if you're counting - 432 calories per serving - leave out the sesame seeds and avocado to take it down to 297 calories if you want something even lower in calories]

Ingredients (per person)

For the Tuna
  • 1 x 135g fresh tuna steak [145 calories]
  • 2 tsp Japanese soy sauce (e.g. Kikkoman, or tamari for gluten free) [5]
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (black or white is fine) [56]
  • 1 tsp oil [41]

For the Salad
  • 8g dried seaweed/sea vegetables (e.g. wakame, dulse, sea lettuce - see tips*) [13]
  • 3 red radishes (30g) [4]
  • 1/4 small-medium carrot (25g) [7]
  • 1/4 avocado (40g) [79]

For the Salad Dressing
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil [41]
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (or tamari) [4]
  • 1 tsp honey [16]
  • 1-2 tsp lime juice (to taste) [1-2]
  • 1cm fresh ginger root, peeled [2]
  • 1 spring onion (or use a handful chives) [3] 
 To serve
  • 60g mooli/daikon (a couple of inches - or use courgette/zuchini if you prefer) [10]
  • A little cress, to garnish [1]
  • Japanese pickled sliced ginger (sushi ginger) and wasabi (optional) to taste [3]

1. Put the seaweed / sea vegetables into a dish and add plenty of water to rehydrate them - remember they may expand a fair amount! Set aside for about 10 minutes (or according to pack instructions).

2. Coat the tuna in the soy sauce. Heat a heavy-based frying pan / griddle (preferably non-stick, e.g. ceramic) until sizzling hot (flick in some cold water to check it's hot enough - it should sizzle immediately). Pour off any excess soy sauce from the tuna, and sprinkle evenly on both sides with sesame seeds (if using), ensuring the majority stick.

3. Add the oil to the pan, then sear the tuna briefly in it for a few seconds on all sides until the flesh is *just* coloured, and set aside. (You could place back into the fridge to firm up again for anything up to several hours, if you want to do this in advance).

4. Make the dressing (see below in italics for Thermomix instructions): Grate the ginger, and finely chop the spring onion (or chives). Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients (or shake in a jar).

5. Drain the seaweed and squeeze out excess moisture. Stir in the dressing and taste for seasoning (add extra lime juice if desired). Slice the radishes, julienne the carrot (cut into matchsticks), cut the avocado into chunks, and toss together with the dressed seaweed.

6. Spiralise or julienne the mooli/daikon (or you could coarsely grate) and put onto your serving plate. Slice the tuna into slices about 1/2cm thick and fan out. Place the seaweed salad to one side, and serve with sushi ginger, wasabi and extra soy sauce on the side. Enjoy, completely guilt free!

Thermomix instructions (for dressing)

1. Cut the ginger into 3-4 slices, and the spring onion (or chives) into 1 inch lengths. Drop on to running blades Speed 8. Scrape down, add the rest of the ingredients and give a quick 'stir' for a few seconds on Speed 5

2. If you prefer not to slice and julienne the radish and carrot by hand, add to the bowl and chop for 1-2 seconds / Speed 5. Repeat as necessary - especially if making larger quantities. Go back to step 5 above and continue with the recipe.

*For my seaweed/vegetables I used 1 tbsp dried shredded wakame and 2 tbsp mixed sea vegetables. The wakame I've found in supermarkets before, and I also use in my miso soup - it expands like Billyo, so you only need a pinch to make a serving of soup!

The sea vegetables, I picked up in a health food shop (Clearspring Sea Salad, as on the left - you can also sprinkle it raw on salads etc.). I've provided links / photos** so you can see what I used - you should be able to find them in most health food stores. You could just use wakame on its own, or use any mix you like - it's easiest if it's shredded / cut into small pieces rather than large whole pieces, but anything you like will do!

For my healthy and delicious authentic miso soup recipe (which is also brilliant for a low calorie filler with a nice amount of protein from the tofu if you're on a 5:2 fast day at only 79 calories a portion) have a look here.

 If you'd like another delicious Japanese inspired salad recipe, using wakame (or any sea vegetable of your choosing), have a look here, for my wakame and shaved vegetable salad.

**These links are affiliate links. Clicking on the links will simply take you to view the product on Amazon UK, and not cost you anything whatsoever. Should you decide to purchase the product from the link above, you will not pay a penny extra, but I will get a tiny percentage of the proceeds from Amazon which helps go towards ingredients and recipe development for my blog.

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