Simple and elegant, Sesame Crusted Yellowtail Tuna with Two Sauces combines a crunchy sesame seed crust, rare seared tuna with two delicious sauces.
The making of Sesame Crusted Yellowtail Tuna with Two Sauces
Sesame Crusted Yellowtail Tuna with Two Sauces is a recipe I put together by combining two of my favorite things; rare seared tuna and tasty sauces. The sauces, Sambal Vinaigrette, and Wasabi Cream, both come from the Epicurious website, with slight modifications, like using less oil and mustard in the Sambal Vinaigrette. Epicurious is one of my many "go-to" websites when I'm looking for ideas for dinner or researching an idea I had for a recipe. Theirs was being prepared with halibut that they coated with finely chopped parsley, fried, then topped with these two sauces. I never got the parsley connection as these sauces both have heat and are very Asian in flavoring.
But parsley? So I decided to put them on a rare seared tuna that I have crusted with sesame seeds, keeping it a little more "Asian" in taste.
Rare seared Ahi or Hamachi? The choice is yours.
Rare seared sesame-crusted yellowtail and yellowfin tuna used to be very popular hors-d'oeuvres. I don't see it as often anymore, but when we traveled to Hawaii on a regular basis, they were at every cocktail party and reception we attended, made with either yellowfin (Ahi tuna which is red) or yellowtail (Hamachi which is white). And just as in good sushi or sashimi, the tuna has to be rare in the middle. Overcooking the fish is simply wrong, IMHO. Rare yellowtail is heavenly. So is yellowfin and either one will work in this recipe.
Try it. You'll like it!
The Sesame advantage
The sesame seeds that crust the fish can be black or white seeds or a combination of both. They really give it a great nutty-flavored crust that works so well with the vinaigrette and wasabi cream sauces. When buying sesame seeds, try to buy them at an Asian market, they are so much cheaper than they are in the grocery store. There are also a lot of good sources online like these Regal White Sesame Seeds, 10 ounces for just $1.99.
And they are already toasted! Bonus Bonus! So why pay more?
Sesame Crusted Yellowtail Tuna with Two Sauces
- For the Sambal Vinaigrette
- 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar they say not flavored, but I use flavored all the time so either or
- 2 teaspoons sambal oelek Southeast Asian chile sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup vegetable oil I use grapeseed oil
- For the Wasabi Cream
- 2 teaspoons wasabi powder
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup sour cream Greek yogurt, or Mexican crema
- For the Yellowtail
- 1 ½ pound piece of yellowtail tuna left whole OR cut into 1 inch thick steaks (I liked using a whole tuna "roast" as it had less chance of cooking too quickly and becoming overdone, if you can't find one, use thick steaks and cook less time)
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds white, black or a combination
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the Sabal Vinaigrette: Whisk the ingredients together until it is smooth. Season with a pinch of salt. Set-aside.
- Prepare the Wasabi Cream: Whisk together the wasabi powder and water, when smooth, whisk in the sour cream. Season with a pinch of salt. Set-aside.
- Prepare the Yellowtail: Pour the sesame seeds onto a plate. Season the fish with salt and freshly ground coarse pepper. Turn the fish in the sesame seeds until well covered; adding more seeds if necessary. (If you are using a whole "roast cut" of fish, then coat all sides, if using steaks coat only the top and bottom) Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat (cast iron works great here); when the pan is hot, add the fish, if using a whole roast let it cook about 1 - 2 minutes, then turn, cook again for only 1 or 2 minutes, then turn again for another 1 - 2 minutes. If cooking steaks add the crusted steaks to the hot pan, cook 1 - 1 ½ minutes, turn, and cook 1 ½ minutes on the other side. Remove the fish and let it rest for 2 - 3 minutes. For the whole "roast" slice into ½ inch slices. For the steaks, slice, or don't. It's up to you how to present it.
- To Serve: Place a bit of the Sambal Vinaigrette on to a plate, top with the fish, then drizzle with the wasabi cream and a little more of the vinaigrette.