Friday, May 21, 2010

Sesame-crusted seared albacore with maitake, asparagus and soba


I made this during a warm spell we had a week ago. It was the kind of weather we ought to be having right now, but Mother Nature is being a bit of a premenstrual dysphoric bitch right now, dumping buckets of rain and unseasonally cool weather our way. Don't get me wrong, I'm from Portland, and am a dyed-in-the-wool Great Northwest kind of girl. But when I see tender tomato sprouts getting mowed down by gastropods and can't throw my windows open in the middle of May, I get a little bitter.

Nonetheless, New Seasons had gorgeous albacore loins, and the usual supply of feathery maitake mushroom clusters, and the asparagus was looking just as plump and green as all get out. I'm such a slave to this succubine vernality. I had some soba and other Japanese things at home already, so dinner was an easy idea away.

I rubbed the tuna loin in sesame oil and then rolled it in black sesame seeds. I seared it lightly on all sides while I got some dressing going: a good, fat tablespoon of grated ginger, a little finely sliced scallion; a drib each of mirin, rice vinegar and sesame oil; and a nice splash of tamari and shoyu (you can use Chinese soy sauce but for seasoning rare tuna I think it's worth going a little nicer with a good Japanese brand like Takumi, and save the dark stuff for porky noodles).

Pull the loin from the hot pan and break up and stir-fry the maitake until they're slightly softened, then toss in the asparagus (chopped into bite-sized pieces). Sprinkle in some sesame seeds and then dump in some cooked soba. Stir around a bit then add the dressing, then plate. Slice the albacore into thick medallions, top the noodles and sprinkle on some furikake (I just like a little seaweed, sesame and chile on everything).

Serve with a cold Morimoto Soba Ale (seriously, I can't drink enough of this these days) and dreams of sunnier climes.

16 comments:

Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul said...

I love this presentation Heather! And all the flavours sound delicious too!

Foodycat said...

Are you sure you are a working mother??? This looks very, very fancy.

Manggy said...

Yum, cupcakes... Hee hee ;) Love the soba, but unfortunately I have to eat the tuna cooked through - for some reason I am allergic (and I've tried this out at every reputable place I can afford). Terrible isn't it?!?
Let's trade weather!!! We are dehydrating here!

bellini valli said...

Your loins are cooked to perfection Heather.,,perfect way to get out of the rain. We are just a little north and are experiencing the same unseasonable weather, but unfortunately for us living in semi-dessert we always need rain to ward of the forest fires.

The Spiteful Chef said...

I love having my meals dictated by what looks fresh and plump and alive. I don't love seaweed, but that may be because I'm a landlubber. Yarr.

we are never full said...

i get bitter if the weather isn't to my liking by may either. esp. after a shitty winter and an equally crappy april. we'll be lucky this week in nyc with weather but, i'm sure, the long memorial weekend will bring crappy weather!

this is the time of year you just want a piece of rare fish - warmed or cold. yum.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Nice:-) When I was kid I used to hate cooked tuna (or really cooked fish of any kind), until I had seared tuna. It's like the best of both worlds. Business on the outside and party in the middle.

Heather said...

Peter - Long time no see! Glad you're back. :)

Alicia - It was deceptively fast and easy. And the baby goes to bed at 6:30 these days!

Marky! - Aw, well, I generally like albacore a little more cooked anyways. Ahi, on the other hand...

Val - You need some rain? You can have some of ours!

Kristie - I only mean the tiny shreds of nori that come in furikake. Too much of it gets in the way.

Amy - We're still waiting for some summery stuff to head our way. Cold, rainy, icky is all we've been getting.

Marc - Like the mullet of seafood. Oh, wait, mullet is already a seafood.

peter said...

Seared tuna is so 1996. You need to make a wasabi-myrrh emulsion and crust the fish with crushed Flintstones chewables, opium poppy seeds, and smoke-dehydrated pomegranate aïoli chips if you want to be relevant.

Or just melt cheese all over it. Either way is good.

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matt said...

fantastic stuff here! Love the presentation

tobias cooks! said...

I would love to try a bite of that too!

catering berlin said...

Very beautiful photos. And I really like the combination. I will definetly try this recipe. Looks very exotic. Greetings from Berlin...

AnaVar said...

Love your cooking angle... they are done to perfection.

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