Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pan-Seared Tuna Steaks with Soba Noodles

Every once in a while I get a craving for Japanese food that I need to offset almost immediately by either running three blocks down to the happy hour at DragonFish or chomping on rice crackers with Japanese written on the packaging but is actually made in China.

I decided to do something different for once and make my own Japanese-inspired meal. I bought a couple of fresh tuna medallions on sale at the grocery store, pan-seared it with a little seasoning (you want to keep the seasoning light to fully savour the taste of the buttery tuna) and served it with cold soba (buckwheat) noodles. I also made my own mushroom-based 'dashi', which is Japanese broth, to go with the noodles. I served all that with a side of grape-Asian slaw and some cream-cheese Wasabi. A fancy and over the top meal for a fancy and over the top closing DNC speech. Whee!

Pan-seared Tuna Steaks with Soba Noodles
Serves 1

3 oz. green tea or regular soba noodles
3 oz. yellowfin tuna medallions
1/4 tsp chilli powder
Salt and pepper

Dashi stock
1 piece dry shitake mushroom
1/2 piece konbu (dried seaweed)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin (seasoned rice wine vinegar)
1 tbsp sake
Dash of white pepper

Cream Cheese wasabi
1 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp wasabi paste

Prepare the dashi stock by bring 2 cup of water to boil and adding the stock ingredients except the seaweed. Simmer for about 5-6 minutes, add in seaweed, bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Let the mushroom and seaweed soak for about a minute and remove it from the stock.

Cook the soba just like you would pasta. Drain and set aside.

Rub the chili over the tuna medallions, and season slightly with salt and pepper.

Heat a drop of oil in a skillet, just enough to coat it so that your fish doesn't stick. Sear the tuna for 1 minute on each side, so that the outside turns white, but the middle part is still slightly pink.

Right before serving, heat the stock and throw in the soba noodles. Give it a quick stir to get the flavour in and remove the noodles from the stock. Set it on a plate. Arrange tuna on top of the noodles, sprinkle with some spring onions for garnish and serve with a coleslaw, cream cheese wasabi and some soy sauce.

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