Seared Tuna with Miso Quinoa Salad
From Le Cordon Bleu
I’ve got this friend, let’s call her Jess…because that’s her real name and everyone who knows her will realize immediately that this post is about her anyhow 🙂 Jess is a, well, specific eater, to put it nicely. She’s that person ordering everything “light”, “extra”, or “on the side.” Her friends have grown to love her for it, and of course make fun of her from time to time. But after watching her order a salad with no cheese, dressing on the side, chicken cooked without oil for the 100th time, I decided something had to be done. Why pay money to beg a restaurant to defile their perfectly devised recipes when you could be cooking at home to your own specifications – and probably cheaper at that! So I offered her a cooking lesson.
Of course I failed to anticipate the challenge that would be recipe selection with the world’s pickiest eater. After going back and forth trying to find the perfect recipe (I told her it had to have a protein, a grain, and a non-starchy veggie), I decided to dig through my endless list of “recipes to try.” And there it was, about 100 recipes down the list, the absolute perfect Jess recipe. Tuna – a healthy protein. Quinoa – the only grain she’s currently allowing herself to eat for reasons I still don’t understand and that don’t apply late at night or after a few glasses of wine. Miso dressing – flavorful but low cal. Ginger, bell peppers, shallots, check, check, check. We had a clear winner. And sure enough this dish was easily as good if not better than something you’d get in most restaurants. The salad is beyond flavorful, and if you’re a raw tuna fan then the seared sesame crust method can’t be beat. Frankly I doubt I did Jess as much of a favor by giving her a cooking lesson as she did by giving me a reason to finally pull this recipe out of the archives!
- 10 oz uncooked quinoa
- 30 oz water
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 3/4 cup dried apricots, minced
- 1/4 cup parsley, minced
- 1/4 cup pickled ginger, minced
- 4 Tbsp shallots, minced, divided
- 3 tbsp garlic, minced, divided
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
- 1/4 cup white miso paste
- 1 oz mirin wine (or saki)
- 1 oz rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1/2 Tbsp pepper
- 5, 5-oz Ahi tuna steaks
- Combine quinoa and water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until tender and water is absorbed, about 10 minutes (go ahead and check on it, lifting the lid won’t kill anyone). Fluff and pour into a large bowl.
- Add red pepper, green pepper, apricots, parsley, ginger, 2 tablespoons shallots, and 2 tablespoons garlic to the quinoa. Toss to combine.
- In a medium bowl whisk together 3/4 cup canola oil, miso paste, mirin, rice wine vinegar and lemon juice. Pour dressing over quinoa salad and set aside.
- Mix sesame seeds, salt and pepper together on a plate. Coat each tuna steak in the sesame seed mixture, pressing to hold the seeds on.
- Heat a large saute pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons canola oil. Sear the tuna for 20 seconds on each side.
- Serve tuna over a bed of quinoa salad.