March 24, 2012
Sesame-Soy Ahi Tuna Steaks and Brussels Sprouts
Summer weather puts me in the mood for fish. Since M dislikes fish but loves steak, I compromised with him by cooking these Ahi Tuna Steaks. They have the word "steak" in them, so they were a reasonable middle ground.
The inspiration for the Asian flavors in this dish came from my favorite happy hour appetizer. It's this positively addicting, salty, garlicky bowl of crispy brussels sprouts that we always order when we're at the outdoor Graffiti Bar at Sampan Restaurant in Philadelphia. I can't go to happy hour at Sampan and not order these brussels sprouts. Since I love them so much I decided to try to recreate the flavors at home.
I'll warn you that this isn't a dish for people who dislike salty things. Soy sauce is a naturally salty ingredient, which is part of why it's packed with big flavor. The great thing about this dinner, too, is that the marinade works for both the fish and the brussels sprouts. It's a one-flavor meets multiple ingredients type of dinner.
A little hint, too, is to simmer the extra marinade with a tablespoon of corn starch to create thick sauce that can be served on the side. Serve the fish over a scoop of fluffy rice to soak up the extra sauce. The brussels sprouts are fantastic as-is. While they aren't identical to my beloved Sampan sprouts (I'd have to bribe them to share their exact recipe with me), they are close enough to quell my cravings in between happy hour visits, which is exactly what I hoped for.
salt to taste
garlic powder to taste
1 T. lemon juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Ahi Tuna Steaks:
Place two Ahi Tuna Steaks in a shallow dish. Sprinkle each side with garlic powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil until the sugar is dissolved. Pour 1/3 to 1/2 of the marinade over the tuna steaks and marinate from 2-24 hours.
Reserve the remaining marinade.
To cook Ahi Tuna Steaks:
Remove from marinade, discard rest. Preheat a cast iron grill pan over medium heat. Sprinkle each side of the tuna steaks with sesame seeds. Transfer steaks to the grill pan and cook 4-8 minutes per side (depending on how raw or cooked you like it) without moving in between turns of the steak to create even grill marks. Serve immediately.
Slice off the very bottoms of 1 lb. brussels sprouts, keeping the sprout intact. Cut each sprout into even halves lengthwise, from the bottom stem to the top. Mince 3-4 cloves of garlic. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 T. vegetable oil and 1 T. sesame oil. Add the garlic and stir, 30 seconds. Add the brussels sprouts and stir, then pour 1/3 of the marinade over the brussels sprouts. Add 1 T. hot chile sauce if you like it spicy. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer 4-6 minutes or until the sprouts are just tender. Serve immediately.
Use remaining marinade as a sauce: whisk together with 1 T. cornstarch and bring to a boil, then simmer until thickened.