Seared-and-raw tuna has become especially popular in restaurants with multi-culti, East-meets-West themes
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (with juice)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon thin soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 pound tuna steak (1 1/2 inches thick), very fresh
1/4 cup bottled Chinese oyster sauce
1/4 cup shao-hsing (Chinese rice wine)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
peanut oil for sautéing
chopped fresh chives for garnish
radish sprouts for garnish
1. Combine the ginger, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Blend well. Coat the tuna with the mixture, place in a small bowl, cover tightly, and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
2. When ready to cook, make the sauce: Combine the oyster sauce and the rice wine in a saucepan over high heat. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk until a glossy sauce is formed. Whisk in the mustard thoroughly. (If too thick, thin out with a little hot water.) Keep warm.
3. Place peanut oil in a very hot sauté pan to a depth of 1/4 inch. Dry off the marinated tuna thoroughly. Make sure the oil is smoking heavily over very high heat, then place the tuna in it. Sear the tuna for about 30 seconds on each side, or until a dark brown crust has formed. Remove from heat immediately. (Most of the tuna steak's interior should still be raw.)
4. With a very sharp knife, cut the tuna steak into slices that are approximately 1/3 inch thick. (You should have about 16 slices.) Place a puddle of the sauce on each of 4 dinner plates, top with tuna slices, then drizzle a little more sauce over the tuna. Top with chopped chives and/or radish sprouts, and serve immediately.
This is one way of creating the seared/raw effect: shallow frying in a very hot sauté pan. Seared-and-raw tuna has become especially popular in restaurants with multi-culti, East-meets-West themes...and the Eurasian sauce for this dish owes something to the spirit of Roy Yamaguchi in Hawaii, who continues to merge butter and Asian ingredients into fantastic backdrops for main ingredients. Serves 4 as a first course