Wild Recipes

Miso Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna

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The weather has finally cooled down but the fishing this year was really amazing here on the west coast. Tons of giant fish were being reeled onto the already bloody decks of boats. All kinds of tuna came pouring in and the outcome of it all was lots and lots of high quality protein for our freezers. Tuna can be intimidating or overwhelming for a lot of people because if the shear volume of meat you get from a single fish. Whenever I get a tuna, I pack it down to manageable sizes so I can freeze it and thaw it out quickly. I want to keep it as fresh as possible because one of my favorite tuna preparations is seared tuna. Most bacteria lives on the outside of a steak, so when you quickly sear it at a high heat, you essentially kill all the harmful bacteria. Keep in mind that when you’re eating “raw” fish you should always know where your fish is from and ensure that it’s of the highest quality. The fish should smell like the ocean, not the gut pile at a fish market. If you’re suspect at all, make sure to cook it through. Alternately you could use this with salmon or and other fish in the oven on broil. Just make sure to cook the fish to the proper temperature based on the fish you choose.

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4 Ahi tuna steaks (or any tuna variety)

1/4 cup miso paste

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 Tb mirin

1 oz rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup sake

1/4 cup sesame seeds

2 Tb Black sesame seeds (optional)

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly in 9 x 12 pyrex casserole dish or any non-metallic casserole dish. Place the steaks in the dish coating all sides with the marinade. Cover the dish and place it in the refrigerator 4 hours or up to overnight. Flip the steaks over halfway through your marinating time.

Remove the steaks from the marinade reserving the rest in a small pot for the sauce. Partially dry the steaks and coat all sides with the sesame seeds, press down a bit to make them stick. Simmer the reserved marinade and set it aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet to high heat. Wipe a little bit of oil on the cast iron to make sure the steak doesn’t stick. Working in batches, carefully sear each steak for about 30 seconds on each side, try not to let the sesame seeds fall off. Do not overcrowd the pan so the steaks get a nice sear. Remove the steak and slice it across the grain in 1/4” slices. Serve it on a bed of rice or on top of a salad. Drizzle some of the sauce onto of the tuna or serve it on the side for dipping.

Ara Zada

Born and raised in Los Angeles Ara Zada is a chef, author, TV personality, food stylist and avid bow hunter. He has worked with Outdoor News, PBS, Food Network, ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT, Jaime Oliver Food Foundation and a range of others. His first cookbook ‘Lavash’ was released Oct. 2019. When he’s not cooking he’s shooting his bow, teaching his kids about the outdoors, training for triathlons and filling any available time with parkour.

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