Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ahi with a panko wasabi crust served with coconut jasmine rice

Eating most populations of tuna isn't so sustainable.  Fisheries vary in their population status and harvest methods vary in their direct and indirect impacts (see, for instance NOAA's site).  According to NOAA and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Atlantic pole-caught ahi/big-eye is the fish to look for but most of the ahi/big-eye sold in the US comes from Pacific fisheries, which, if harvested incorrectly (sein nets) isn't sustainable.  Yet, you can't always believe what you read:  thus, an additional problem is knowing, with any certainty, whether or not the labeling is accurate (much is not, as I've written before).  Finally, tuna, particularly ahi/big-eye is high in mercury:  eat at your own risk. 

So, it was with some irony that Janice and I independently looked at some fresh ahi and thought we should get some, particularly since we've not cooked it in years and even try to not to eat it in sushi.  Thus, I wanted to make something new (for me). It turned out pretty well and is festive.  If you know you've got pole-caught, Atlantic ahi/big-eye, enjoy!  Otherwise, consider passing on it.  Either way, eat tuna modestly.

3/4 cup mayonaise
1 Tbs wasabi powder
3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1.25 lbs ahi/big-eye 1" thick tuna steaks (cut into 3 pieces)
black sesame seeds

Mix the mayonaise and wasabi together well, drag the tuna steaks through it, and then pat them onto a plate filled with pakno to create a nice crust on all sides.  Put the well-breaded steaks into a baking dish (I used a metal baking pan with a silicon mat).  Bake at 350°F for 15-20 min (typically you cook about 15 min per inch).

Drizzling sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp wasabi

Mix together, heat in microwave for 30 sec and ensure that it's fully mixed.  Serve with tuna. The wasabi-mayo would also be a good sauce...consider putting some soy in that.

1 1/2 cup jasmine rice
1 small can (5.6 oz) coconut milk

Cook in a rice cooker with appropriate amount of water mixed with the full can of coconut milk.  Serve sprinkled with seaweed seasoning.

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