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Tuna Medallions with Sesame Crust

The original recipe I found for this called for fresh ahi tuna – always a favorite; for something a little different, go the route I did: try wild albacore tuna instead. I was able to buy a whole loin – solid meat, no waste – and have leftovers. This preparation is simple and quick, and looks beautiful on the plate. I have found a few similar versions online – this one comes from my own kitchen, and has the fewest steps and ingredients, although the sauce might take a little longer…got 5 minutes?

You will need:

  • 1 fresh albacore tuna loin
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
  • sesame oil
  • salt
And for the sauce:
  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce
  • rice wine vinegar
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled, and finely chopped
  • crushed, dried red chilies
1. Rinse the tuna loin under cold running water, and then set it out on a plate to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, whisk together equal parts soy, vinegar, and sesame oil to make the sauce. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilies and taste. Adjust seasonings or proportions accordingly. Pour the sauce into some lovely serving bowl you’re dying to show off, and set it on the table – it’s ready to go.
2. Slice the tuna into inch-thick medallions, cutting perpendicular to the length of the loin. Shake a liberal dusting of salt over the fish; turn each piece over and repeat.
3. Combine the sesame seeds in a bowl and mix them together with your hands. Then, dredge each tuna medallion in the seeds so that it is entirely coated on every side.
4. Heat a heavy splash of sesame oil in a skillet to medium high, and sear the tuna medallions, turning them once and taking care not to knock off the sesame crust. Cook only a couple of minutes – tuna should be warmed through but not cooked all the way; test one piece by cutting it in half – the color change should stop toward the center. Blot each piece dry on paper towels.
5. Serve immediately with the sauce either drizzled over the top or on the side.

We had ours with buttery wasabi mashed potatoes and blanched bok choy sauteed with black vinegar, soy sauce and salt.
Photo & Recipe based on this recipe for Wasabi-Ponzu Sesame Tuna

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