Tuesday, September 13, 2011

broiled tuna steaks with rice & greens

aww, that tuna looks like a heart! which makes sense, because i heart this dish (get it?! heart, like i used the word heart instead of love because the heart is the symbolic place in our bodies where love resides, even though it's now pretty well accepted that the brain is actually where we process all of our emotions... heart! i'm just as glad the tuna didn't look like a brain, anyway).

still. this was really tasty and quick and easy. it's just tuna steaks that hang around in an asian-inspired sauce for a little while, then get broiled. or you could grill them. then you eat them sliced over a stir-fried bed of rice, spinach, garlic and lettuce (what? lettuce? yes!).

i feel like buying fish is fraught with difficulty these days. if it isn't dire warnings about how mercury is going to kill us, it's terrible sad puppy eyes from vincent chase reminding us about how we are eating all his friends. it's rough, i tell you. luckily, there are people at aquariums who know about these things and tell you what is okay to eat.

of course, i was a little suspicious of aquarium people telling me what kind of fish to eat. how do i know they aren't telling me to eat some super-endangered one so that the ones in the aquarium are the only ones left in the world so they can charge even more outrageous prices to see them and their terrifying conger eel buddies? seriously guys, aquarium tickets are like $30 these days.

answer: there is no way to know. just trust them. or don't. i always feel like fish are super-smug, anyway. maybe they need to be taken down a peg. but if you don't want your conscience to pang you when some little kid in the future is like, "what's a fish?" then you should probably look into that stuff.

so once this tuna got the go-ahead from those charlatans people doing god's work, i rinsed it, dried it off and slathered it with a delicious concoction of mayonnaise, tamari (like soy sauce), fish sauce, rooster sauce (aka sriracha), lime, ginger, and garlic. so. good. and the mayonnaise helps it stay moist and tender even under the heat of the broiler.

just dollop about 1/4 - 1/3 cup mayonnaise into a small bowl. add a good tablespoon (or more, to taste) of tamari, perhaps a teaspoon of fish sauce, a little less than that of sriracha (or by all means more, if you like the spicy), the zest from a lime and juice from half of it, 2-3 cloves of minced or microplaned garlic, and about a teaspoon of grated ginger. it's nice because you can use the microplane for all three of those last things. efficient!

i doused the tuna well, flopping it around so that it got all covered. i only needed perhaps 1/2 of the sauce for this part. then i let the fish sit in the fridge for an hour or so before topping it with a little more sauce and sticking it in the toaster oven to broil. it took 15 minutes in our toaster oven, but basically just broil it until it is as done as you like it. i have to admit, i am one of those philistines who likes it fairly well done - like still pink in the middle, but much more cooked than that bare sear everyone else seems to enjoy so much. you should just go with your heart on this one.

you can eat this with pretty much anything (delicious sandwiches with some napa cabbage slaw come to mind), but we had it with some leftover brown rice with spinach and lettuce sort of stir-fried with it. it's also particularly good if you drizzle a little bit of the leftover sauce and some lime juice over it at the end.

while the fish was cooking, i heated a little bit of oil in a large skillet and added a large minced clove of garlic. after 30 seconds or so, i added about 3/4 cup of frozen spinach and let that cook for a few minutes. once it was unfrozen, i added a chopped heart of romaine lettuce (isn't it amazing how this is coming back around to hearts? i should save this for valentimes).

romaine is great for this because the leafier part gets all silky and the stemmier part stays crunchy. just let that cook for a couple of minutes, then add maybe a cup or so of cooked rice and a tablespoon or less of tamari and a little fish sauce. this is a super-quick and easy side that would also be good as a lunch if you add some scrambled egg to it.

basically, this is a very tasty dinner that comes together in less than 15 minutes. as long as it's okay to eat some tuna once in awhile, we'll be having this again.


2 tuna steaks

1/4 -1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
zest of 1 lime
juice from 1/2 lime
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon + fresh-grated ginger

1 cup cooked rice
1 clove garlic
3/4 cup frozen spinach (or comparable fresh spinach, of course)
1 heart of romaine
fish sauce and tamari to taste

1 comment:

  1. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seawatch Guide, albacore tuna caught in your neck of the woods is rated "Best Choice". As for mercury levels, tuna caught by line has much lower levels because they are usually much younger, but finding that out is not easy.

    I love the idea of stir-frying spinach and romaine. I often crave stir-fried greens, but my favorite is baby bok choy which I will only buy once a month at an Asian supermarket that is a long drive away. I usually always have spinach and romaine in the fridge, though. Thanks for a great idea!