Monday, February 2, 2009

Seared Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna with a Cilantro, Garlic and Lime Sauce

Serves 4 to 6
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

When I discovered that Lost River Market & Deli had tuna steaks in their freezer section, I did a happy dance in the aisle. I immediately bought a package (there are 3 steaks per package) and called my friend, Debbie to tell her. She told me that she just discovered them too and had already purchased a package. So, we decided to get together with our husbands last night and test a recipe. We gave this recipe a try last night and we all loved it. With the tuna, I served Alice’s A+ Salad plus Spiced Rice with Almonds (recipes on this blog) Tuna is truly an amazing food with a number of benefits that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Tuna is rich in Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and has been known to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is also low in fat and cholesterol making it a great alternative to beef. Not only is tuna a powerhouse of nutrition, it is also one of the most delicious sources of lean protein that you will ever sink your teeth into. Chefs say the only way to eat tuna is rare, and I agree. It doesn’t take much time or effort to make this dish. Just put the tuna in a quick-to-make marinade then sear the tuna for 30-40 seconds per side and voila, it’s ready to serve and dip in the delicious marinade/sauce. We still have 2 steaks plus some salad left over. I know what I’m having for lunch today!

1/4 Cup Black Sesame Seeds (If you can’t find these, just use all white sesame seeds)
1/4 Cup White Sesame Seeds
2 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
6 Ahi (Also known as Yellow Fin) Tuna Steaks (from two packages)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

1/ 2 Cup of Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Zest and juice from 2 Limes
1- 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
4 Tablespoons of Honey
2 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
¼ cup of fresh Cilantro, chopped

1) Place all marinade ingredients to a large measuring cup with a spout and mix well. Pour half of this marinade into a separate container to use for the dipping sauce.
2) Pour the marinade into a large zip lock bag, add the tuna, and then squeeze out the air. Marinade for 30 minutes. (You could also use a glass dish and then cover it with plastic wrap.)
3) Remove tuna from marinade, shaking off any excess marinade and pat dry with a paper towel.
4) Pour the sesame seeds into a shallow dish. Roll the tuna around in the seeds pressing down as you roll ensuring the seeds are packed into the tuna nicely.
5) Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoon of sesame oil. The oil should be hot but not smoking.
6) Add the tuna to the hot sauté pan and shake it a bit to make sure the tuna does not stick. Sear for 30 to 40 seconds on each side. The outsides should be toasted and the centers should be rare (a bit pink.)8) Serve with the reserved dipping sauce.

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