Sesame-Crusted Ahi Tuna and Cucumber-Seaweed Salad
Cucumber-seaweed salad is a popular dish in Japanese cuisine. You can find packages of dried wakame at most natural food stores and Asian markets. If wasabi paste is unavailable and you still want some fiery kick, stir in a pinch of red-pepper flakes. While black and white sesame seeds lend a visually pleasing touch, use only the white ones if that’s all you have.
- ½ ounce dried wakame
- 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon grated or finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon wasabi paste (optional)
- ½ cup white sesame seeds
- ¼ cup black sesame seeds
- 4 ahi tuna steaks (1½ pounds total)
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
To make the salad: In a bowl, cover the wakame with cold water and let it sit for approximately 15 minutes, or until fully hydrated. Drain, squeeze out the excess water, and slice into 2″ pieces, if necessary.
In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, radishes, scallions, and wakame. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce or tamari, sesame oil, honey, ginger, and wasabi paste (if desired). Add the dressing to the cucumber salad and toss.
To make the tuna: In a shallow dish, stir together the white and black sesame seeds. Season the tuna with salt and pepper to taste and pat the sesame seeds on both sides of the tuna.
In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Cook the tuna for 1 minute, or until the undersides of the white sesame seeds start to turn golden. Turn the tuna and cook for 1 minute for medium-rare, or until the undersides of the white sesame seeds again start to turn golden. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into ¼”-thick slices. Divide the tuna slices and cucumber salad among 4 serving plates.