The Salad Series: Seared Tuna with Warm Wasabi-Butter Sauce and Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms

The Salad Series: Seared Tuna with Warm Wasabi-Butter Sauce and Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms

In a month, I will be heading to Austria and Germany for vacation and I intend to let loose and eat all the schnitzel, sausages, currywursts, and pretzels these two countries have to offer me. So, for the next 30-ish days, I will be eating (relatively) clean. I'm starting the Salad Series which will highlight 30 days worth of tasty salads that you'll be able to add to your weeknight arsenal.

This salad features a spicy wasabi-butter sauce, perfectly seared tuna, and vegetables that carry a serious punch.

GRADE

Serves: 2 as an entrée (or 4 as a small salad)

Cost: $$$

Skill Level: Easy

Time to Make: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

TUNA

1 pound good quality tuna steak

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup sesame seeds (possibly more depending on the size of your steak). I used a mix of black and white sesame seeds.

Salt and pepper to taste

SALAD

2 cups baby arugula (or your favorite mixed greens)

4 red radishes

1/2 jalapeño

8-10 cherry tomatoes

Flaky sea salt 

A few sprigs of cilantro

CRISPY SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS

1/2 shallot

8 large shiitake mushrooms

Vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

WASABI-BUTTER SAUCE

2 limes

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1/2 shallot

2-3 teaspoons wasabi paste, depending on how spicy you want it to be

2 tablespoons butter

METHOD

Prepare Ingredients: Pat tuna dry and chill in the fridge. Roughly chop the cilantro. Trim and scrub the radishes and thinly slice lengthwise. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Very thinly slice the jalapeño. Slice the shiitake mushroom caps. Slice 1/2 the shallot lengthwise. Juice the limes.

Start the Dressing: In a food processor, combine the lime juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, half the shallot (the half that isn't sliced), and wasabi paste. Pulse until smooth. Taste and add additional sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, or wasabi paste to your taste preferences. Set aside.

Cook the Shiitake Mushrooms: Heat a slick of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high until very hot. Add the sliced shiitake caps and the sliced shallot and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring regularly, until the shiitake mushrooms are browned and crispy. Transfer to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.

Cook the Tuna: Brush the tuna steak all over with the 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sesame seeds to a shallow bowl and gently lay the tuna steak on the seeds. Flip and coat the other side. Use your fingers to gently press the sesame seeds into both sides of the tuna. Note: Only coat the top and bottom of the steak with sesame seeds, not the sides since you won't be searing the sides of the tuna.

In the same skillet you cooked the mushrooms, add another slick of oil and turn the heat to high. Once the oil is shimmering and almost smoking, add the tuna steak. Cook for 1 minute and gently flip. Cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a cutting board. Allow the tuna to rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing. Carefully wipe out the skillet and discard any remaining sesame seeds in the skillet. Note: I recommend cooking the tuna steak rare, but you can increase the cooking time to cook the steak to your desired doneness.

Finish the Sauce: Turn the heat in the skillet up to medium and add the sauce mixture to the skillet. Once warmed through and thickened, stir in the butter and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is velvety and glossy. Remove from heat. 

Finish the Salad: Right before serving, sprinkle a bit of flaky sea salt on the tomatoes and radishes and add them to the bowl of arugula and gently toss to incorporate.

To Serve: Divide the salad between plates and top with the crispy shiitake mushrooms. Arrange the sliced tuna on top and serve with the warm wasabi-butter sauce. Enjoy!

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Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!