A little bit of food and a whole lot of personal reflection, that's what you're getting yourself into by reading Smak today. But let's face it, isn't that what happens almost every time I write?
As summer officially has come to a close, I've started changing out my summer clothes for my fall and winter attire. Out with the shorts, TOMS and tanks. In with the wool sweaters, camp socks, scarves and boots. A lot has happened since last fall. I got a new job in the city, I've met incredible people who I know will be life-long friends. I've pushed myself further when it comes to my websites. Sure, I've had some rough moments this year too, but I'm realizing more and more how incredibly blessed I am.
A few weekends ago my parents came down to the city to spend a Saturday evening with me. Oktoberfest beer, music, laughing, cooking. It was exactly what the doctor ordered after a long stressful week. My parents are my biggest supporters. Work hard at your day job. Chase your dreams. Fight for what you're passionate about. So often I find my inspiration coming from these two amazing individuals.
My kitchen space is small and less than ideal, that's why there are not many beautiful atmospheric shots on Smak, the kitchen just isn't that great to look at. But nonetheless, it gets the job done. The idea of making sesame crusted ahi tuna with a soy ginger lime sauce in such a space should be daunting. But as I cooked with my parents in my Lincoln Park studio apartment, I realized I don't need the fanciest of things to make it work.
Whether you live in a shoebox like myself, or in a beautiful million dollar home, you can absolutely make this recipe. Just make sure to grab a drink, turn on some music, and surround yourself with those most important to you.
| Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with Soy Ginger Lime Sauce |
Pickled Cucumbers ½ cup rice wine vinegar ½ cup water ⅓ cup sugar 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt ½ teaspoon dried red chili flakes 2- 6 inch Japanese or Persian cucumbers
Soy Ginger Lime Sauce 2 teaspoons minced ginger 6 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes) 4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon sesame oil 2 tablespoon honey 2 teaspoons water ½ teaspoon dried red chili flakes
Tuna 4- 5 ounce ahi tuna portions (about 1 –inch thick) 8 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and chili flakes in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat. Add cucumber slices and stir. Let rest 10 minutes, then transfer cucumber to a sealable container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Soy Ginger Lime Sauce
- Whisk together all soy ginger lime sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Place sesame seeds on a plate. Pat dry tuna steaks with a paper towel to remove excess water. Dredge and press tuna in sesame seeds, coating the tuna evenly. Sprinkle with more seeds as needed.
- In a medium frying pan over medium high heat, warm the oil until just smoking. Frying two portions at a time, arrange the tuna steaks in the pan (do not overcrowd) and cook until the sesame seeds start to turn golden underneath, about 1 minute. Turn the tuna over and cook for 1 minute. Sear the edges of the tuna for 15 seconds on each edge.
- Transfer the tuna to a plate with a paper towel, patting to gently soak up any excess oil. Repeat with remaining tuna portions. Transfer tuna to a cutting board and cut ¼-inch thick slices.
- Arrange tuna on individual serving plates or bowls. Serve with pickled cucumbers and soy ginger lime sauce.