A summery way to enjoy fresh tuna
The summer tuna fishery off New Jersey and New York is an active one with yellowfin, bluefin, and bigeye tuna all showing up in good numbers. This means some excellent eating for those fortunate enough to get in on the action.
I like my tuna extremely rare, if not raw as sushi and sashimi. When I cook tuna, I use a cast iron frying pan and sear the tuna no more than 2 minutes on each side. It is seared on the outside but rare or close to raw in the inside.
When things go well, I catch my own tuna or have friends who are generous with their catch. Fresh tuna steaks can be pricy in the market, but they are well worth the expense for special occasions. Markets sometimes have smaller pieces of tuna left over from the cleaning process. These are just as good as the tuna loins, just less expensive.
Here is one of my favorite recipes for fresh tuna. It is a combination of Asian and Mexican cuisines. The Yum-Yum sauce is a tasty addition and can be found in the Oriental sections of most groceries.
I keep the ingredients basic, but you can also add traditional fish taco ingredients like wasabi, guacamole, sour cream, grated cheese, or your own favorites. This recipe makes enough for two tuna lovers.
Fish Taco Ingredients
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
4 Tablespoons ponzu sauce
1 Pound fresh tuna steaks
2 Tablespoons canola oil
4 6-inch tortillas
Combine the sesame oil and ponzu sauce in a Ziploc bag or make your own teriyaki sauce. Place the tuna in the bag, cover with marinade, and marinate in the refrigerator for two hours.
When ready to cook, remove tuna from the marinade and pat dry. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the tuna and cook on each side for two minutes for rare but no longer than 5 minutes if well done is desired.
Remove the tuna and cut into thin slices. Warm and soften the tortillas in a microwave and place two of them on a plate. Top each tortilla with lettuce and tomato and add about a quarter of the fish. Top with the Yum-Yum sauce and add any optional taco ingredients you might like. Fold the tacos up and enjoy. We often serve refried beans to accompany the tacos.