Seared Ahi Tuna with Soba Noodle Salad and Soy-Lime Leaf Syrup
Anyone who likes Japanese food has enjoyed raw tuna with the usual dips. This takeoff pairs glazed seared tuna-I like it still slightly raw at the center, but suit yourself-with a sprightly soba noodle salad. This is a popular dish at Blue Ginger, where we wrap the noodles in nori seaweed to make maki rolls, but it's every bit as good, and more quickly prepared, this way.
Four 6- to 8-ounce pieces of center-cut Ahi tuna (about 3 by 2 by 2 inches each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil, plus 1/3 cup
2 teaspoons wasabi powder
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup Soy-Lime Leaf Syrup
1 hothouse (seedless) cucumber, washed and cut into 3-inch julienne
1/2 pound blanched soba noodles
- Season the tuna with salt and pepper. Heat a sauté pan over high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the tuna and sauté, turning, until cooked, 2 to 3 minutes total for rare.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the wasabi and vinegar and whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of the syrup and then the 1/3 cup oil to make an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the vinaigrette to a small bowl.
- In the same large bowl, combine the cucumbers and noodles. Add half the vinaigrette and toss to coat; if necessary, add more vinaigrette. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Garnish 4 large dinner plates with the remaining syrup and vinaigrette. Place a mound of the soba salad on each plate. Cut each piece of tuna into 3 slices and arrange next to the salad. Serve.