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  • The Chopping Blog

Easy and Elegant Sesame Seared Tuna

Posted by Roger on Mar 13, 2017

Chefs are a lot alike in many respects. We like to work in a kitchen that offers us opportunities to learn. Many of us have had more jobs throughout our careers than people in other professions because of this. Even though I am a chef instructor, I am also a student. Being surrounded by many other talented and experienced foodies every day provides a great learning environment for even the most experienced cook! 

I have been teaching classes at The Chopping Block for a year and a half now, and I have grown fond of one of the appetizers that we occasionally serve in our private cooking events: Sesame Seared Tuna with Tobiko Aioli. It has quickly become one of my favorite dishes that you can easily recreate at home!

Tuna is a fish that you do not want to overcook. It has very little fat and because of this, it dries out very quickly. Most tuna should be served rare to medium rare or even raw as in Poke. You also want to use "sushi" grade or "A1" grade Tuna. This is the freshest and highest quality which is most suitable for eating raw or rare.

Tobiko is the roe of the flying fish. It is often red or sometimes green if it is made with wasabi. Either are nice choices.   

Togarashi is a Japanese blend of spices and chili peppers. If you can't find it, you can try your own blend of chili powders. 

Sesame Seared Tuna with Tobiko Aioli

For the tuna:

8 ounces sushi grade tuna 

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

1 tablespoon togarashi spice

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Salt to taste 

tuna mise en placeCut the tuna steak as best you can into long strips that are cube shaped. This is mostly to create a nice presentation for an appetizer. 

*Note: If you would like to make this an entree, you can leave the steak whole.  

Season the tuna with sea salt and roll the tuna strips in the sesame seed mixture. Now roll the tuna strips in the togarashi seasoning.  

sesame seeds

sesame on tunaHeat a heavy sautée pan over high heat. Add the 2 oils and wait for the oil to just begin to smoke. Gently add the tuna strips to the pan, cooking just 30-45 seconds. Gently turn and cook each additional side 30-45 seconds until all four sides are browned (if cooking the tuna steak whole, increase time to approximately 1-2 minutes per side.) 

Searing Tuna in PanRemove from pan and remove place on a plate in the fridge until completely cooled.  

Once cooled, using a very sharp knife, slice the tuna strips into 1/2" thick pieces. Serve on rice crackers or thinly sliced cucumber rounds and top with Tobiko aioli.  

Tuna with AioliTobiko Aioli: 

3 ounces mayonnaise

1 small garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Tobiko (red or green) 

Place all ingredients in small bowl and mix.  

Tuna with AioliIf this is a dish you enjoy, you'll love the flavors of the rolls we put together in our hands-on Sushi Workshop. Our next session is Tuesday, March 28th at our Lincoln Square location. You'll love learning how to make sushi at home! You'll also find out the best places to buy ingredients for sushi here in Chicago. 

Topics: appetizer, fish, tuna, Asian, Japanese, Recipes

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