Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Seared Ahi, Wasabi Soy Butter, Crispy Rice

One of my favorite cooking memories is from a holiday in Maui when we were attending a friends' wedding.  Our kids were small and we had brought a small electric pan with us for our hotel room.  I'm sure our reasoning back then was budget and ease with small children.  We had bought some steaks from the small market close to the hotel and not wanting to buy a bunch of spices or sauces, I perused the condiment bar next to the ready to eat foods.  I came away with soy sauce packets, wasabi and pads of butter.  That night, I seared our steaks on the balcony of our hotel room and made a little wasabi soy butter sauce.  It was really good for so many reasons and truly showed simple is sometimes best.
Sprinkle fresh ahi tuna steaks with a little salt and pepper and then white and black sesame seeds.  Heat a heavy, well seasoned, cast iron pan or non-stick pan over high heat.  Add just a bit of grape seed oil.  Sear tuna quickly on both sides, maybe just a minute or so.  You want it seared on the outside and raw on the inside.  


To make the sauce, combine a little wasabi paste with light soy sauce and a little water.  Warm until just heated, not boiling.   Add small pieces of cold unsalted butter a little at a time until melted.  


For the crispy rice, I had left over white rice which I pressed into a round ring to shape.  Fry rice in butter or canola/vegetable oil until crispy.


Serve ahi widely sliced with a drizzle of sauce and fresh scallions to garnish along with some wok fried fresh shiitake mushrooms and sugar snap peas.

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