Saturday, March 5, 2016

Seared Sashimi Tuna with Cold Cucumber Noodle Salad

Grilled Sashimi Tuna Steaks with Cold Cucumber Noodle Salad

Looking at my blog recently, you'd think we are on an Asian kick around our house, and to some degree, we are! When you've been cooking a long LONG time, like I have, it's fun to try new dishes, and to that end, I've been working on my Asian repertoire. I'm on a self improvement kick and while I love the local "Chinese" take-out, I KNOW it's loaded with fat and sodium. SO, to still get my fill of what I want to eat and keep it healthy, I've started making take out food at home.

I found this recipe in a Weight Watcher's brochure. It looked so good, I had to try it! I only made one or two adjustments, and none that would affect the overall calorie count, which is quite low. If you are a Weight Watcher, it adds up to just 6 "Smart Points" the current exchange rate on that eating plan. This recipe also has the advantage of being very simple and quick to make. Once you have your ingredients on hand and laid out, it's 30 minutes, tops, start to finish. You will need a non-stick ridged grill pan if you don't plan to cook the tuna on the outdoor grill. It was COLD here last night, so we opted to cook the tuna inside. If you do cook on the outdoor grill, use the olive oil to oil the grill and keep the tuna from sticking. I made this for 2 of us, and put the noodle salad away for lunch later this weekend. The salad was slightly spicy, sweet and sour all at the same time! If you are totally against spicy food, the original recipe only called for 1 tsp. of Sriracha sauce. Mine was only a little bit hot, so don't be afraid! It was so good the first time, but I'll let you know how the noodles hold up! ***Cooks note, several weeks later: I've made this again and saved the leftover noodles both time for lunch later in the week. They held up really well and tasted great! I held them 2 days the first time I made this and 3 days the nest time. The rice noodles were just slightly softer, not much. New, great pasta salad recipe! 

I'll be making this again soon, I promise!

Seared Sashimi Tuna with Cold Cucumber Noodle Salad
serves 4

3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons rice  wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
3 tsp. Kikkoman Soy Sauce, divided use
a pinch or two of Kosher salt
1/2 c. hot water
4 oz Annie Chun's Pad Thai Rice Noodles (thin)
6 radishes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c. loosely packed cilantro leaves
4 Sashimi grade Tuna steaks, about 5 oz. each
1 tsp. olive oil
pinch of fresh ground black pepper
Lime wedges for garnish

1. Put a large pot half full of water on to boil for the rice noodles.
2. In a medium size non-reactive bowl, whisk together lime juice, sugar, vinegar, Sriracha sauce, 1 tsp. soy sauce, a pinch of Kosher salt and hot water.
3. Add the cucumbers into the salad dressing mixture.
4. When the water begins to boil, add the rice noodles and cook for 4 - 5 minutes.
5. Drain the noodles and rinse well with cold water. Drain the cold water off shaking the colander to make sure they aren't watery. Take your clean kitchen shears, and snip the noodles in a few places. The noodles I bought came in one long strand, so I wanted to make them easier to toss and to serve.
6.While the noodles drain, preheat a non-stick ridged grill pan over high heat.
7. Add the drained noodles, radishes, onion and salt to the salad dressing. Toss well to combine.
Noodle salad, flavors melding, before the cilantro is added. 

8. Sprinkle the tuna with the remaining soy sauce and a little salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to the grill pan or oil the outdoor grill.
9. Place it in the pan, on an angle over the ridges and press it lightly into the pan.You want the tuna to make good contact with the ridged grill for a good sear.  Don't move it for 1 minute. After 1 minute, rotate it to "cross hatch" the grill marks (if you feel like it, I enjoy a challenge), pressing it down again to make good contact with the pan. Turn if over after 1 additional minute. It should look like this:

Grill marks on the tuna, it only stuck a little! 
10. Cook on the other side for 1 minutes, again pressing the tuna down, for rare, 2 minutes for medium rare. I wouldn't take it farther than that, as the tuna is delicate and may dry out.
11. Add the cilantro to the noodle salad, tossing well. Using a slotted spoon, to drain the excess dressing, divide the noodle salad evenly between 4 plates. Or do half of it between 2 if it's dinner for for 2!
12 Place the tuna on the plates next to the salad, and thinly slice the tuna. Garnish with limes if desired. We squeezed some over the dish, but I forgot the limes as garnish for the pictures! It just looked and smelled so darn good! Enjoy!
Umami! Yum! 

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