WFD: Lime “seared” Bigeye Tuna

August 14, 2007


Blimey, now this was tasty. I haven’t done a huge amount of citrus seared fish before. Ceviche is a great example of this technique. You are really just using the natural acidity from citrus fruit to cook something. In the case of this bigeye only the outside couple of millimeters is actually cooked.  What results is some tuna that has an incredibly fresh taste thanks to the lime juice, and this really neat looking cooked edge all the way around the slices.

I was in the mood for something light and tasty this evening. We spent the morning at Ballard Farmers Market, picking up some vegetables for the week. I have to say I just love this farmers market. By far my favorite. I love the market slowly gets progressively bigger through the summer months, with new vendors popping up as the weather gets better. It seemed like the quality of the stalls was super high this week, everything looked good, and we were hungry. First stop was at the great crepe stand for a quick on the go lunch – a chicken, spinach avocado and feta crepe. It was fabulous. I had Drake Baby Bjorned to me, and I think the little guy ended up with some of the crepe on his head. This often happens when I eat with Drake still in the Bjorn! A couple of stands saw most of the shopping done, some great tomatoes from Billys, and some veg from a stand of which I forget the name (pity on me). Fabulous stuff anyhow, but that doesn’t help much if I cannot say where we got it!!

 We had planned to walk down to Madison Park, and take Drake on the slides and swings. This would be the first time he would be on a slide or swing (apart from a little slide in our back yard). At 8 months it seems so early, but should be a bit of a laugh we thought. Well, we we still hungry after the crepe for lunch, so on the walk we stopped at Essential Bakery for a Brioche (me) and a Cinnamon Roll (Danika). Drake was in a stroller, so no head food for him! After that we were feeling pretty sickly full, so it was decided on a light dinner. The slide and swing were fun. Drake enjoyed himself as did we. We were expecting a great fast slide, but alas that was not the case. It was more like sliding in slow motion. Even Drake looked surprised.

Anyhow, back to the food. Something fresh and light. I always enjoy Asian preperations of seafood, both cooking and eating. Done right, they can be incredibly flavorful yet light enough to enjoy on a hot day when you aren’t incredibly hungry. So, what did I do here? I took a cut of bigeye, and popped it in a zip top bag. Into this I poured the juice of 1.5 limes. The other half is saved for later. This goes into the fridge for about 45 minutes. It is a good idea to tip the bag around a bit every now again. After about 20 minutes you can see that the outside of the tuna going a cooked colour. This citrus is slowly cooking the tuna.

One note about Bigeye tuna, and serving fish raw in general. Obviously, you want to make sure you get your fish from a decent dealer. Make sure they know what they are doing with fish. You also want to make sure with Bigeye and other fatty tuna that they haven’t got any of the tuna pre-sliced. The fish can start to oxidise once sliced up, you better fishmongers will always cut you steak when you want it. It is best to use it that day.

So, the tuna is marinading. Now what? You could do a dance whilst waiting of course, but I would rather prep up some vegetables to go with it. With the tuna I wanted something fresh and light, so as not to overpower the delicate fish. We picked up some great baby bok choy and scallions at the market, so that is kind of a no-brainer. The bok choy is cut into strips, and lightly stir fried just to the point where the leaves start to wilt. I sliced up the white section of the scallions, and then cut the green area into long thin strips which I will use as garnish. I like doing this with green onions – the thinner you can cut the green sections the better. You can then curl them round your fingers, to give them a little curl. Some of the smaller bok choy I just left whole.

The bok choy is plated, along with the scallions. On top of this is a few long stalks of cilantro. You can just pick off the leaves if you wish, but the thinner stem sections are completely edible, and give a good bite if you ask me! A red chilli is thinly sliced and added in also. A squeeze of lime over everything, and the veggies are plated.

Next up is some ginger. Take a thumb sized piece and slice it really finely. A Japanese mandolin really helps here if you have one. Fry the ginger in some olive oil until it goes crisp.

When the tuna has had about 45 minutes in the lime juice, drain it and cut it into really thin slices across the grain of the fish. The thinner the better here if you ask me. Pile this on top of the veggies. Scatter the thin strips of green onion on top, and finally top with the crispy ginger.

Oh.. I nearly forgot the potatoes. Potatoes in an Asian dish? Yep. Break with tradition a little bit here, and serve more than rice! Nothing wrong with rice, but I like variation. Here I simply part boiled and then roasted the potatoes. Before roasting (and after boiling) I tossed them with a healthy helping of wasabi paste. The roasting mellows out the wasabi flavor, it doesn’t completely remove it, just softens it a bit. When the potatoes are fresh out of the oven toss them with a little chopped cilantro and serve on the side. For wasabi I favor the ground instead of the tubes of paste. I like to be able to mix up the strength paste that I like.


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  • Matthew August 14, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    I used to drop stuff on Iris in the Bjorn all the time. Ah, fond memories.