Seared Tuna Steaks with Citrusy Soy Sauce, Crisp Sushi-Rice Cakes and Asian Cucumber Salad
March 1, 2011, 10:33 am
Filed under: Dinner, Fish, Vegetable | Tags: , , , ,

I subscribe to several magazines – Time, Cooking Light, Food and Wine and Philadelphia Magazine.  The first three subscriptions (Time, Cooking Light and Food and Wine) are the result of my participation in my cousin Anna’s magazine drive.  Buying magazines through these drives is great.  Not only do you get great deals on magazine subscriptions, but you also support schools and, obviously most importantly, the prizes that the kids earn.  I will never forget the days of working towards those spy sunglasses, the “money machine,” and all you can eat Taco Bell!  Apparently prizes have improved slightly.  My cousin yearned to sell enough magazines to ride a limo to McDonald’s.  I’m sure to a 3rd grader life doesn’t get any better than this and I was more than happy to help her reach her goal.  This post is dedicated to Anna since the recipe came from one of the magazine’s which helped her reach her goal.

Seared Tuna with Citrusy Soy Sauce, Crisp Sushi-Rice Cakes and Asian Cucumber Salad (from Food and Wine Magazine)

This recipe was part of a section in Food and Wine Magazine highlighting the unofficial “edgy” category of wines.  Edgy wines are described in the article as “natural” and then some, with a slowly evolving taste.  They use natural ingredients with little or no chemicals.  The authors broke “edgy” wines into several categories, the “Traditionalists” (producers who have been making wine the same way for hundreds of years), the “Revivalists” (winemakers which have recently rediscovered ancient methods) and the “Experimentalists” (producers which combine ancient and avant-garde techniques).  This particular recipe fell under the latter category, the “Experimentalists,” which was described as having umami flavors (the infamous 5th taste, also known as savoriness) which the author thought went well with “rich, supple orange wines from California” which also share this taste.

This is a dish with bright colors and fresh flavors.  I thought the citrus flavors from the soy sauce definitely brought this dish into any sort of “Experimentalist” category.  The citrus helped balance any overwhelmingly salty tastes that most normally associate with soy sauce.  It was almost a refreshing renewal to a common Asian sauce.

The recipe was deceivingly easy and quick to prepare.  I prepared the cucumber salad first using a mandolin to cut the carrots, English cucumber (seedless cucumber) and scallions into thin slices.  I tossed them with the juice from one lime and set aside.  I next made the sushi-rice cakes next.  These were slightly challenging solely due to the stickiness of the sushi-rice.  The recipe says to cook each side for 4 minutes, but I might only do so for 3 minutes next time.  Just prior to serving I put these in the oven to warm.  Lastly, I made the tuna and citrusy soy sauce.  Pretty straightforward to make.  The aroma and flavors of the soy sauce were awesome!