This is one of my absolute favorite spring and summer meals. It is based on a recipe found here at Divine Health.
Now, why can’t I just leave well enough alone? Well, one, that’s not how I roll. But reason number two is a goodie: You may remember us talking about how certain vegetables should not be consumed raw. As a crucifer, cabbage is one of those veggies. Making a raw slaw would mean that the cabbage would still contain goitrogenic chemicals (chemicals that block the production of thyroid hormones in your body). Thyroid issues are becoming more and more prevalent, and the thyroid, once damaged, can be very difficult to repair. I really don’t want to mess with it.
Sesame Crusted Tuna with Asian Cabbage
For the Tuna
*Four 6 – 8 oz. wild-caught tuna steaks (I usually use yellowfin; any type of ahi would be great. Check out this scorecard for other sustainable choices.)
*2 Tbsp. coconut oil
*2/3 cup (-ish) sesame seeds, lightly toasted in a pan or toaster oven (Use a mix of standard and black or brown if you’d like it to look all cool like the picture above. Also, toast extra if using for the cabbage – see below.)
For the Cabbage
*One small head of organic green cabbage, thinly sliced (To make it prettier, you could do half red, half green.)
*3 carrots, shredded (No need to peel if they are organic and clean!)
*4-6 green onions, sliced (Scallions could be used, just use more. One time I substituted a nice shake of onion powder, and it worked fine.)
*1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
*1-1/2 Tbsp. organic cold-pressed unrefined sesame oil
*1/3 cup organic rice vinegar
*2-3 tsp. dijon mustard
*1 tsp. sea salt
*1 tsp. raw honey (Optional, adds a touch of sweetness.)
*3 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds (Optional, for sprinkling over the finished cabbage. I always forget to do that.)
*Big handful cilantro, chopped (Optional, because I’ve never actually made it with cilantro… I always mean to, and then forget. See a pattern?)
In a large skillet, heat a scant amount of coconut oil, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the cabbage, and saute until beginning to break down, but still firm and glossy. (I tried to capture what it should look like in the picture to the right.)
Toss in shredded carrots and remove from heat. Transfer to a serving bowl and let cool a bit.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the green onions, ginger, sesame oil, rice vinegar, dijon, sea salt and honey (if using). Pour over cabbage and carrots, toss, and let sit while you prepare the tuna.
Lightly salt tuna steaks, and then press into toasted sesame seeds so they adhere to each side of the steaks. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Gently brush (I actually use my fingers) each side of the steaks with coconut oil as you are adding them to the pan. Do this in two batches (or two pans) so the steaks are not crowded.
How long you cook them depends on many factors, including how thick your steaks are. Thin steaks (about 1″) will cook fairly quickly; nice thick ones will need a bit longer. This is method I follow when pan-searing: Place the steaks in the pan, and watch the color. As the bottom cooks, I wait for the color to change about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way up on the side. Then I flip them, and cook for slightly less than the amount of time it took for the first side. Making a small slice into one steak with your spatula or a thin knife and looking at the color is a good way to check. If it needs a lot more cooking, place a lid on the skillet for a minute or two; keep in mind it will cook quickly this way.
MAKE SURE you don’t overcook your tuna! It’s much better to under-cook it and have to throw it back on the pan. Tuna is generally served with a seared crust and a warm red center. (Like most things, I like mine very rare. Like, chilly center rare.) This is especially important if you’ll be reheating it. Keep in mind that it will continue cooking a bit even after being removed from the pan. (The tuna can also be grilled over a hot fire. Sear 1-2 minutes per side for 1″ steaks, 2-3 minutes per side for thicker steaks.)
Sprinkle the cabbage with cilantro and toasted sesame seeds (if you remember) and serve with the seared tuna. Enjoy the party in your mouth.
You may also like:
*Easy Fish Recipe: Miso Cod with Spicy Cucumbers
*Summer Bounty: Easy Zucchini Recipes
*Summer Bounty: Fresh and Health Tomato Recipes for Gazpacho, Salsa and More…
*Summer Bounty: Fresh Corn Recipes, and Why It Must Be Organic (Sorry, Paleo Challenge friends… )
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