Tuna Three ways

YellowfinTuna - the first thing that comes to mind when the word Tuna is spoken about is Sashimi! Sashimi has become a social favourite over the past few years with Tuna and Salmon being the fish of choice with species such as Kingfish and even Squid becoming favourites amongst foodies.

After a recent trip out off Sydney with the Scent Blazer Crew we managed a few nice Yellowfin Tuna on a range of Scent Blazer Lures. As we passed the school of ravenous Tuna our lures got absolutely smashed which resulted in screaming drags and bent rods!! After a short struggle we boated these fish. The next thing to do was to prep them to be chilled down. We quickly bled the Tuna, ensuring all the blood was out of the fish as leaving the blood in the fish will ruin the flesh.

After we had bled the fish we washed off all the blood and put them on ice to quickly chill them down, you really want to get the temperature of Tuna down as they will quickly turn to mush if you don’t. Once it was chilled I dressed the fish by simply filleting it and removing the skin, bloodline and bits I didn’t want!

I didn’t throw away the off cuts; instead I filled our lure chambers with it!! This is a great way to use the entire fish and not waste any but also it makes your lures taste and look like real fish!

After getting this Yellowfin Tuna home I thought to myself, "how can I prepare this Tuna that's different to just Sashimi?" so I decided to make Tuna three ways.


Yellowfin Tuna Belly Flap with light Soy, Wasabi and Baby Mint Leaf

What you will need:
  • 1 Yellowfin Tuna belly flap or piece of tuna (Kingfish, Salmon or any firm fish will do)
  • 1 teaspoon of Light Soy Sauce, regular Soy will also work
  • 1cm square piece of wasabi or wasabi from a tube.
  • 2 baby mint leaves or 1 large mint leaf
Method:

Firstly remove the belly flap and use this as Sashimi as the high fat content makes this delectable!! Once removed you simply want to cut it into bite sized pieces (I have chosen rectangles as it presents better, approximately 2.5cm x 1cm).

You now need to place the Tuna on some paper towel to remove the moisture. Get your serving dish; I have used Chinese soup spoons as they present better and you can simply eat the Tuna straight off the spoon. Then you want to add half a teaspoon of light Soy in the bottom of the spoon, place a piece of Tuna in the spoon on top of the Soy then simply squeeze a bit of wasabi on top, as much as you prefer.

Baby mint leaves are hard to come by but they sure pack more of a minty punch! A substitute is to julienne a regular mint leaf and place a few pieces on top of the Wasabi. I find the mint gives a nice after taste and takes a little bit of the edge off the Wasabi but still gives you that Wasabi hit! It actually complements the Soy and Wasabi.


Moroccan seared Yellowfin Tuna finished with sea salt and a citrus squeeze

What you will need:
  • 400g of fresh Yellowfin Tuna fillet, skinned and blood line removed
  • 3 table spoons of Moroccan dry spices
  • The juice of one lime
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil; vegetable oil will also work
Method:

Place the Tuna on a piece of paper towel and leave it aside to ensure there is no moisture as any water in the fish won't allow it to sear properly. On a large plate, layer the base with Moroccan dry spices. Remove the Yellowfin Tuna from the paper towel and place it on top of the Moroccan spices, start to roll the Tuna in the spice mix and ensure it's completely covered.

Allow it to sit for a few minutes and repeat the process. You really want to ensure you create a crust to crisp up and seal in the moisture to ensure the Tuna doesn’t dry out.

Get a saucepan and a teaspoon of olive oil and place it on a medium to high heat, if it's too hot it will burn the spices and be quite unpalatable and if it's not hot enough it will absorb the oil, become soggy and the beautiful spices will just fall off.

When the oil is smoking hot place your Tuna in the pan, allow to cook until the Tuna is cooked half a centimetre or less from the edge and the spices are golden brown and crispy then flip it.   Be careful that you don’t cook it more than half a centimetre as when you remove the tuna from the pan it will continue to cook, the worst thing is overcooked Tuna.

It should be golden brown, crispy and cooked only half a centimetre through, with the middle being raw. Once you remove the Tuna from the heat place it aside to rest. In the meantime you want to juice the lemon and lime and stir.

Resting the Tuna will make it easier to cut and it won't rip the crust when you cut it as its had time to firm up. Once it's rested (it should only take 1-2 minutes) it's now ready to be sliced.  Now you want to cut this Tuna with one stroke of the knife.  You don’t want to saw at it as it will simply rip and crumble up, so with the tip of the knife you want to push down and push forward so by the time the knife is through the Tuna the entire blade has passed through the piece of fish, from tip of the blade to the handle.

Cutting the fish half a centimetre thick will give you a nice bite size piece, so cut the Tuna up and place it on the board you cut it on. Then sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with a citrus squeeze. Be sure to only drizzle the citrus on as you eat it because the citrus will continue the cooking process and make that crispy crust soggy.



Seared Yellowfin Tuna encrusted in thyme, parsley and fennel seed infused white rice crumbs with a balsamic reduction.

What you will need:
  • 400g of fresh Yellowfin Tuna fillet, skinned and blood line removed
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of dried fennel seeds, whole
  • 3/4 of a cup of white rice crumbs
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme to garnish
  • 1 tea spoon of olive oil, vegetable oil will also work
Balsamic reduction:

Pour a cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Bring to a boil without reducing the heat on the stove.

At this point, turn down the heat so that boil reduces to a simmer. Stir occasionally and allow the balsamic to simmer until the vinegar has reduced by at least half (for a thinner reduction) or more (for a more syrupy consistency). However impatient you may be, don't try to increase the heat, unless you want to be left with a stiff, hardened mess! Allow to cool and transfer to the fridge, this is where it cools and becomes more viscous. Now with the reduction made and cooling it's time to prep the Tuna.

The Tuna:

As above place the Tuna on a piece of paper towel and leave it aside to ensure there is no moisture as any water in the fish won't allow it to sear properly. In a bowl add the chopped parsley, thyme and whole fennel seeds followed by the cup of white rice crumbs, mix well and then place it on a large plate.  Layer the base with the white rice crumb mixture. Remove the YellowFin Tuna from the paper towel and place it on top of the white rice crumb mixture, start to roll the tuna in the mixture and ensure it's completely covered.

This process is the exact as the recipe above, allow it to sit for a few minutes and repeat the process. You really want to ensure you create a crust to crisp up and seal in the moisture to ensure the Tuna doesn't dry out.

Get a saucepan and a teaspoon of olive oil and place it on a medium to high heat, if it's to hot it will burn the spices and be quite unpalatable and if it's not hot enough it will absorb the oil, become soggy and the beautiful crust will just fall off.

When the oil is smoking hot place your Tuna in the pan, allow to cook until the Tuna is cooked half a centimetre or less from the edge and the spices are golden brown and crispy then flip it. Be careful that you don’t cook it more than half a centimetre as when you remove the Tuna from the pan it will continue to cook, the worst thing is over cooked Tuna.

It should be golden brown, crispy and cooked only half a centimetre through, with the middle being raw. Once you remove the Tuna from the heat place it aside to rest.

Resting the Tuna will make it easier to cut and it won't rip the crust when you cut it as it's had time to firm up. Once it's rested (it should only take 1-2 minutes) it's now ready to be sliced.  Now you want to cut this Tuna with one stroke of the knife, you don’t want to saw at it as it will simply rip and crumble up, so with the tip of the knife you want to push down and push forward so by the time the knife is through the Tuna the entire blade has passed through the piece of fish, from tip of the blade to the handle.

Cutting the fish half a centimetre thick will give you nice bite size pieces.

Plating up is the fun part.  Get a clean white plate, and drizzle on your balsamic reduction. Place the tuna in the centre to the plate. I use three pieces but you can use however many you like, then drizzle on a few more drops of that silky balsamic glaze ensuring not to over do it, as it will make that crust soggy.

To finish, remove the thyme leaves from the stalk and add it to some sea salt then sprinkle it over the balsamic reduction, this will give the balsamic a nice earthy flavour from the thyme. Now the only thing to do is pour a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy...


Bon appetit,

Andrew

SBC