Sunday, August 26, 2012

0 Recipe #324: "Samurai Salad" (Wasabi Tuna Steak Salad)

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This salad is packed with protein and antioxidants. So eat up to be strong as a samurai. :)

This recipe is an updated and slightly reformatted version of an earlier recipe I created a few years ago. This incarnation is a salad versus the previous one, which was basically a plateful of marinated tuna, avocado, scallions, and red onion. I also simplified the preparation a bit in this version, and consolidated some of the steps to save time. One of the reasons for doing this is that I've created this recipe expressly for 7 Weeks to 10 Pounds of Muscle, which is geared towards busy athletes. :) Tuna is an excellent source of lean, muscle-building protein, with 25 g. of protein per 3 oz. serving.

After this recipe, I've got one more to go for the book, and then I'll be taking a break from recipe writing for a bit to focus on finishing the nutrition chapter and 7-week muscle-building meal plan for the book. Frankly, I need to step out of the kitchen and recharge the batteries for a bit anyhow. Plus, there are some people, as well as other things and projects in my life, that need a bit more attention at present. Writing books can be an all-consuming thing, so I'd like to thank my family and friends for being so patient while I've basically "checked out" over these past several weeks. I promise to return to the 'land of the living,' hopefully very soon. :)

"Samurai Salad" (Wasabi Tuna Steak Salad)

Marinade Ingredients:
6 Tbsp. (3/8 c.) sesame oil
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. wasabi paste
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Salad Ingredients:
1 lb. very fresh tuna steak, cut into 1”-thick cubes
1 ripe medium-sized Haas avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced into bite-sized pieces
1/4 c. scallions, sliced crosswise into 1/8 “ thick rounds (about 4 scallions)
1/2 c. red onion, diced
1/4 c. cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 heart of romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3/4 c. red bell peppers, diced
1/4 c. carrots, shredded
3/4 c. cucumbers, peel scored vertically with the tines of a fork and then sliced crosswise into 1/4" thick rounds

Salad Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 c. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions: Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until emulsified. Add tuna cubes to a resealable plastic bag, followed by marinade, and seal bag. Massage marinade into the tuna from the outside of the bag until well-coated. Let rest on countertop until tuna reaches room temperature, about 20-30 minutes. In the meantime, place the remaining salad ingredients into a large salad bowl and toss. Next, make the salad dressing in a small bowl and set aside. Place a large wok or stir-fry pan over high heat; make sure pan is very hot before placing tuna cubes into pan. Place tuna cubes into pan and cook on high heat for only 30 seconds per side (i.e., cook on all four sides). (Cover wok with a splatter screen to avoid getting zinged with bursts of crackling, sizzling hot oil.) Set them aside on a plate to cool, then transfer them to the salad bowl, drizzle salad with salad dressing, and gently toss. Serve and enjoy!

Yield: 4 servings.

Chef's Notes: Both the marinade and the salad dressing can be made in advance to save time. To avoid cross-contamination, be sure to wash your hands after handling raw fish.

If you are concerned about which species of tuna are ecologically safe to eat, please consult the Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector.

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