Thursday, May 14, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Asian Tuna Salad

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This week's Barefoot Bloggers recipe brings us Tuna Salad. Tuna salad you say? Isn't that just popping open a can and mixing it up with mayo (and perhaps a sprinkling of chopped celery)? Not for the Barefoot Contessa! This recipe, selected by Kate from Warm Olives and Cool Cocktails, includes much more -- fresh tuna steaks, avocados, wasabi, lime zest... Think, tuna salad with an Asian flare.

Now, I decided to tweak the recipe a bit and tried it out with canned tuna instead. I've posted here the original recipe and go into detail about my changes in the results/comments section.

RECIPE: BAREFOOT CONTESSA'S TUNA SALAD
4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds very fresh tuna steak, cut 1-inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 limes, zest grated
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (3 limes)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 10 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1 to 2 ripe Haas avocados, medium diced
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, small diced

Directions

Brush the tuna steaks with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the tuna steaks in a very hot saute pan and cook for only 1 minute on each side. Set aside on a platter.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, lime zest, wasabi, lime juice, soy sauce and hot sauce. Add the avocados to the vinaigrette.

Cut the tuna in chunks and place it in a large bowl. Add the scallions and red onion and mix well. Pour the vinaigrette mixture over the tuna and carefully mix.

Results/Comments:

This turned out pretty well... although my tuna salad does not look particularly beautiful, I loved the flavor profile of the vinaigrette. I decided to cut the recipe in half (as that I'm heading on vacation soon, so didn't want too much leftover). I also used canned tuna instead of the fresh tuna steaks (I had a hard time coming across fresh tuna steaks and I also wanted to try it out in the way that I would most likely use it in the future).

A few other bumps in the road... I went to the grocery store on the same night that I made this dish and found very few avocados... and no ripe avocados. Normally I would buy avocados and bring them home to ripen, but I was short on time, so just in case my avocado wasn't ripe enough, I bought some guacamole to substitute. (I love avocados and guac, so I didn't want to omit this from the recipe!). As it turned out, my avocado definitely was not ripe enough, but I cubed a few pieces into the mixture and added in guacamole to taste. Oh, and I also used wasabi paste instead of wasabi powder -- accidentally grabbed the wrong thing when I was at the market, but this still provided the kick of wasabi in the salad.

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I taste-tested the "vinaigrette" before mixing it in with the tuna and I LOVED it. It contains many flavors that I love and I could see myself using in a wide variety of dishes. A little bit salty, a little bit spicy, and a little bit of bite. I think next time I might try it with chicken.

This recipe was so simple to put together. A very quick dinner with leftovers to spare for lunch the next day. I wasn't bowled over by it, but I would try it again with different proteins. I think though that it would be quite delicious with fresh tuna, so I'll put that on my list of things to try.

Cheers!

6 comments:

chocolatechic said...

Looks wonderful.

I did a backtrack.

It was so good.

Penny said...

It is wonderful with fresh tuna, but I may try it with canned sometime when the fresh is not available.

Me! said...

great job! it's always important to make recipes better suited for you and what you have. i decided to try the tuna steak because i've never actually cooked tuna steak but i could definitely see canned tuna being so much more convenient.

Tangled Noodle said...

I'd love to try both versions. I sympathize: fresh tuna steaks are rare (no pun intended) around here so canned would likely be my alternative. I love the flavors in this; the avocados would certainly help tame the wasabi and hot sauce!

oysterculture said...

oh, this looks tasty - I developed a taste for tuna later in life when I found it did not always come in a can. I'll have to give this a shot

The Duo Dishes said...

Wow, this is like tuna tartare salad! Such a great idea. Sounds really spicy too, which is nice.