This semester will be a busy one. Trips to Los Angeles (where I am currently) and the United Kingdom in January, followed by a rigorous part-time course load in the spring and, with a bit of luck, some other pet projects and a trip to Paris before the summer. After a quiet end to 2010, I’m looking forward to making some raucous in 2011.
My friend E cooked dinner the night before I left for LA, a restorative Japanese meal of seared tuna steak, sunomono (a dish of lightly pickled cucumbers to whet the appetite), and salad dressed in a simple Japanese sauce with a base of soy and vinegar in equal parts. Some instant miso soup and a Sapporo to round things out, and off to LA it was.
The below will serve 2, and can easily be adjusted for larger crowds.
For tuna and salad:
2 (6-ounce) fresh tuna fillets
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
5 ounces mixed salad greens
1/4 English cucumber, sliced
2 radishes, sliced
salt and pepper
For the dressing:
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tomato, finely chopped
8 cilantro sprigs, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
Mix all the ingredients for the dressing. Add the chopped tomato, cilantro and onion. Season the tuna very well with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, sear the tuna for 1-2 minutes on the first side (depending on how rare you prefer it), and half a minute on the second. Remove from heat and slice the tuna into 1/4-inch slices.
To serve: combine greens, radishes, and cucumber slices on plates. Arrange the tuna slices over the salad bed and drizzle the sauce on top. Serve tuna salad with miso soup, sunomono, and white rice. And an ice-cold Sapporo if you dare.