Our entrée is marinated tuna on a bed of oshitashi. I experienced the oshitashi (spinach salad) at a Japanese restaurant in Nashville and knew it would eventually make its way to the Hawthorne table. The tuna steaks are the perfect pairing with the oshitashi.
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- 2 tuna steaks, at least 1-inch thick
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup fish sauce
- 2 TB Thai chili sauce
- 1 TB mirin
- 1 TB rice vinegar
- 2 TB coriander seeds
- Zest of 1 lime
- 2/3 cup lime juice
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- ¼ cup ginger juice and first
- few pressings of ginger pulp
- through a garlic press
- 1 TB black sesame seeds
- 1 TB white sesame seeds
- 1 TB red chili flakes
- 8 oz. fresh spinach
- 2 TB unsalted butter
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 TB mirin
- 1 TB lemon juice
- 1 TB soy sauce
- Combine all the ingredients in a pot, except the tuna steaks. Bring everything to a boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove the mixture from heat and let it cool before pouring it into a plastic bag along with the tuna. Marinate for at least two hours, occasionally massaging the steaks.
- In iron skillet, melt one tablespoon of unsalted butter with one tablespoon of peanut oil over medium-high heat. The butter is for flavor, the oil to raise the smoke point.
- For medium-rare tuna, cook the steaks two minutes on each side. For rare, cook one-and-a-half minutes on each side.
- Let the meat rest a few minutes before slicing. Serve the sliced tuna on a bed of oshitashi.
- In a small skillet, lightly dry toast the sesame seeds and chili flakes, then steam the spinach until it’s lightly wilted.
- Melt the butter with sesame oil in a medium skillet before stirring in the spinach, mirin (a sweet rice wine commonly used in Japanese cooking), lemon juice, soy sauce, and your toasted sesame seeds and chili flakes. Heat through for about two minutes.
- Optional: For a special touch, top the tuna with paper-thin slices of fresh ginger and caramelized orange peels.
- CARAMELIZED ORANGE PEEL
- Peel one orange, slice the peel thinly, and place the strips of peel in a small saucepan along with the juice of the orange, a half cup of water, and a half cup of sugar.
- Bring everything to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until the peel is soft, about 30 minutes. Drain the peels on paper towels.
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