Monday, October 10, 2011

Tuna Steaks with Ginger, Star Anise and Soy

Sorry for the was my birthday week and thus, my meals were being made by other talented chefs aside from myself. However, now I'm back with a delightful Asian-inspired sauce for ahi tuna, whether it is cooked or served as sashimi. Despite the haughty ingredients (well, for some...not for me...and I hope my readers are becoming braver and snottier!) this is a fairly simple dish to execute.

First you want to chop some fresh ginger up - you still want it chunky, but smaller pieces - until you have at least 1/4 cup. Don't be afraid of more ginger, it is packed with vitamin C and good for you! Then you grind up the star anise (same flavor as fennel, think licorice-y) using a mortar & pestle. If you don't have a fancy-schmancy mortar & pestle, use some wax paper and a meat tenderizer or hammer. Same basic results, just a little harder, messier and less classy. However you smash, you want the star anise to be more of a powder than a chunky solid at the end - about 3-4 tsp. Now you put that, the ginger and some sesame oil (uh....a couple pours, not too much) into a small saucepan and start to cook it over very low heat. Stir frequently. Now you can add in soy sauce, about 1/3 cup, and continue to stir and heat. 

Visual for Star Anise..available at World Market, Trader Joe's,
Whole Foods, etc. Comparable to fennel, but you definitely
want this form of the plant for this recipe. 
Add in some wasabi paste - but not too much - and if you prefer it not spicy, just skip this step. Cook it all together over low heat for about 10 minutes, about the same amount of time you are searing the tuna steak with just some canola or grape seed oil and a sprinkle or two of toasted sesame seeds in a cast iron skillet or frying pan. Taste the sauce, you may wish to add more soy sauce.

Finally I drizzled the sauce over both the tuna and the brown, sticky jasmine rice. Served with edamame on the side.

- Melissa

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