Two Years Ago: Labneh
This is a recipe from the famous grill master Steve Raichlen, who was inspired in turn by the equally famous Hawaiian chef Roy Yamaguchi. That's enough for me! Top-quality tuna steaks are marinated in a soy/ginger garlic mixture, then seared and served over an onion/cucumber/sprout mixture with lemony sauce over the top. Very healthy, and bursting with big flavors.
The small amount of sugar in the marinade caramelizes on the grill, creating beautiful bronzed grill marks and great flavor. Just be sure not to overcook the tuna - it's best served with a very pink or even red center. While the tuna marinates for an hour, you can make the sauce and prep the onions, cucumber and sprouts. It's also a good time to make some white rice to serve on the side and to preheat the grill. You can see below that the tuna picks up a lot of color even from just one hour of marinating.
I found multi-colored radish sprouts at my local store - if you can't find them at your store, try a natural foods store or substitute whatever other sprouts you find.
After the hour is up, all you have to do is a quick sear on the grill, plate and serve. Note that if it's cold outside or you don't have a grill, you could also sear the tuna in a very hot nonstick pan or on a indoor grill pan and the results will be just as good.
4 top-quality tuna steaks, each about 1” thick and 6 ounces
For the marinade:
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sugar
4 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
For the sauce:
1 cup mirin
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ to 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
For the slaw:
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into matchstick slivers
1 package (2 ounces) radish sprouts*
Trim any skin or dark or bloody spots off the tuna steaks. Rinse under cold running water, then blot dry with paper towels. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag.
To make the marinade, combine the soy sauce, ginger, green onions, ginger and garlic in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Pour this mixture over the tuna, seal the bag and let it marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator, turning the bag several times.
To make the sauce, place the mirin in a heavy nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and let boil until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the soy sauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, and hot red pepper flakes. Set aside.
To make the slaw, combine the onion, cucumber, and sprouts in a bowl and toss. Set aside.
Set up a grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.
When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Drain the marinade from the tuna and discard the marinade. Place the tuna on the hot grate and grill until charred on the outside but still quite rare on the inside, 1-2 minutes per side.
To serve, place the slaw on plates and top with the grilled tuna. Spoon the sauce over all and serve at once.
* If you can’t find radish sprouts, you can substitute alfalfa or sunflower sprouts.