Sesame Crusted Tuna & Orange, Cucumber & Avocado SalsaWednesday, August 22, 2012
How gorgeous is a fresh piece of raw tuna? The deep red color of the flesh is even more enticing to me than salmon, unfortunately the price is rarely in my budget! Luckily I came across a great sale and scooped up a pound of fresh Yellowfin tuna chunks for $6, making this an affordable light dinner for me and my son. Keep an eye out for the occasional sale at your seafood counter or look for flash frozen tuna steaks that can be thawed at home. Tuna gets a bad rap these days and for good reason when it comes to sustainable fishing or mercury contamination. That said, tuna is an awesome source of Omega-3's and Vitamin B, so don't count it out as part of a healthy diet. This article from SmartyPants has some great tips on what to look for when buying tuna, what types to avoid and how to store it once you get home.
Way before I ever got on board with sushi, I remember the first time I had seared tuna at a restaurant. After the initial fear of dying from eating raw fish, I quickly realized how incredible rare tuna tastes. I also realized that the reason I'd never enjoyed tuna steaks before was because they had all been cooked beyond recognition, resembling a dry, tasteless gray hockey puck. Maybe that's why I used to be a little intimidated by cooking it at home, which is funny because it turned out to be one of the easiest kinds of fish I cook. The trick is just keeping an eye on the time (I find that counting the seconds myself is easier than working with a timer for something this fast.) High heat is essential to get a nice crust on all sides, and removing the tuna immediately from the pan prevents it from continuing to cook before you serve it.
I served my tuna chilled, topped with a fresh citrus summer salsa of oranges, cucumbers and avocados dressed in a simple splash of lime juice and seasoned rice vinegar. From start to finish, the entire dish takes less than 30 minutes to put together and requires virtually no measuring. Have fun with this and enjoy a refreshing summer treat!
Juice of 1/2 lime
Combine the onion, cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro and oranges in a small bowl. Add the lime juice and a splash of rice wine vinegar. Cucumbers release quite a bit of moisture so 1/2 a lime should be enough.
Press each side of the tuna chunks into the seasoned sesame seeds to form a crust. Set aside while waiting for your skillet to get hot.
Sliced seared tuna topped with the orange, cucumber & avocado salsa, garnished with cilantro leaves...delicious!