First posted: Jun 4, 2010

Welcome to Seared Tuna Heaven


Now if you bumped into Noordhoek’s most eligible bachelor walking down the street, there might be a few things you’d notice about him… his strapping good looks, his passion for rugby (and beer) (and wine) and his fast-talking quick-thinking sharp wit. You might not, however, easily conclude that up his sleeve he holds the key to every single woman’s heart. And it’s called Seared Tuna. With a home-made Asian sauce. And sesame seeds. Yip.

Mr Michael Jenkins Esq. has foiled us all into giving him free meals for as long as we can remember and has only now revealed that he in fact has all the savoir-faire of a seasoned chef. Now we could choose to be peeved that he had not chosen to reveal this hidden talent sooner, or we could just be eternally grateful that he finally chose to do so. I am going with the latter, and I am pretty sure that you’ll agree.



Cooks in:        Serves:4

For the tuna
  • Start with the freshest, sashimi-grade tuna steaks you can find
  • Soy sauce
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon/lime
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • Handful fresh chopped coriander
  • 4 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
For the salad
  • Large bag baby spinach leaves, rinsed
  • 1 punnet strawberries, rinsed
  • Handful/half cup pecan nuts
  • Goats cheese (or feta or blue cheese)
  • Dress with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and olive oil, add a drizzle of regular balsamic or lemon juice for sharpness.

What to do

Seared Tuna Steak

1. Mix soy sauce, lemon juice (or lime) and grated lemon zest in a bowl. Stir in a dash of olive oil.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, add a pinch of fresh crushed ginger and the same of garlic. Stir in 2 tsp sugar. Finally, add 2 Tbsp of fine-chopped fresh coriander. Let this mixture stand for 20 minutes.

3. Pre-heat a good pan on a medium setting. I test the pan with a small piece of tuna - you want it to sizzle immediately but not to burn. I use a non-stick spray rather than butter or oil (very obviously, don't spray directly onto the pan when it's on the heat, spray beforehand).

4. Season one side of a tuna steak with salt and pepper. Place the steak seasoned-side down on the pan for one minute. Turn the steak and immediately spoon on a healthy splash of the sauce. Give it one minute on the second side and serve straight onto a heated dinner plate.

5. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the steak and add a couple of slices of avocado for the perfect finish.

Strawberry, Pecan Nut and Baby Spinach Leaf Salad

1. Toss baby spinach leaves with a handful of sliced strawberries and a handful of pecans. I toasted raw pecans in a pan with a dash of butter, but raw is also a good option
2. Sprinkle crumbled goats cheese over the salad. Feta or blue cheese are also delicious.

Honey-roasted Sweet Potato

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C

2. Distribute the raw potato wedges evenly in a microwave and oven-proof dish and microwave on high for about 8 minutes, until cooked through (when they can be easily pierced with a knife)

3. Remove from the microwave, dress with the 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp honey and toss gently

4. Roast the potatoes in the oven for about 10 minutes and then put the grill on for a further 3-5 minutes so that they turn a lovely golden colour (be careful not to let them burn), season to taste with salt and pepper and serve as soon as possible

Goes really well with a chilled bottle of Riesling (trust me).

Picture from 'Home' by Warren Heath.

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