Seared Tuna with Two Sauces

Makes 6 servings

Tuna is surely one of America’s favorite fish, and it lends itself to many types of preparation, from sashimi to “tuna-fish” sandwiches. This dish follows calls for the fish to be almost raw; it can be accompanied with one of the Asian-inspired sauces, Ginger or Piquant Asian.


1 teaspoon kosher salt

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2 teaspoons  freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds sashimi-quality tuna

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Julienned daikon, sliced seeded cucumbers, and strong-tasting salad leaves like arugula or watercress, for garnish

Ginger Sauce or Piquant Asia Sauce, to serve


Combine salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Pat the tuna dry with paper towels. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sear the tuna on both sides, then remove from the heat and rub both sides with the salt-pepper mixture.

When cool, wrap the tuna tightly in wax paper, then in foil. Refrigerate it for at least 4 hours or overnight. This will make it firmer and thus easier to slice.

To serve: Cut the fish against the grain in thin slices and serve accompanied by the suggested vegetables. Serve either of the sauces separately.

Ginger Sauce

Makes about 1/2 cup


2 shallots, finely chopped

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 teaspoons water

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1 generous tablespoon olive oil

1 generous tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Combine the ingredients well and season to taste.

Piquant Asian Sauce

Makes about 1 cup


1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves

2 teaspoons wasabi powder

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon powdered mustard

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 cup shelled soybeans (edamame), defrosted  (see note)

1/2 cup vegetable broth

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a medium-mesh strainer. Season to taste.

Note: Frozen edamame, shelled and unshelled, is available in health-food stores and supermarkets.