Living the Good Life…

My food blog & cookbook in progress

Seared Tuna with peaches

This recipe – you could call it a salad – was invented one hot evening in Cairo when I had Belle and Melanie over for supper, inspired by a supply of not-quite-ripe peaches that I had at the time. I recalled it suddenly this past Christmas when Belle and I were discussing our meals in Cairo and thought it deserved a page here.

The centerpiece of the meal was a piece of sushi-grade tuna that I’d gotten from Gourmet Egypt (from where I shopped a lot in those days). But how to serve it? For one, I’m not a sushi roller, lacking the delicacy of hand needed for the task, and furthermore I  didn’t have the requisite seaweed, wasabi and other condiments. But I did have peaches, and plenty of fresh herbs – both mint and cilantro as it happened – and a memory of a mango-based sushi roll from a bar in Eau Claire of all places flashed in my mind. So here’s what I did or rather what you should do:

Mix some soy sauce and sesame oil and pour it over the tuna and allow to marinate for a bit. (If you got a frozen piece of tuna then it’s actually a good idea to allow the fish to thaw into this mixture. About an hour or less before ready to eat, sprinkle some sesame seeds and red chilli (cayenne) pepper on both sides of the fish and sear very quickly in a very hot frying pan containing some oil (a mixture of regular cooking oil with some sesame oil) so that the inside is still raw Remove from the heat and set aside.

Add more oil to the pan, and drop some strips of finely sliced fresh ginger into it. Add sliced peaches (I normally prefer to leave skin on but if too fuzzy you may choose to peal them) and season with salt, some more chilly powder or chopped red hot peppers if desired and whole sesame seeds. Add the runoff marinade from the fish and toss over the flame a few times.  Do not cook down to a chutney but leave the fruit crisp/tender and still retaining their shape, Remove from heat and mix with plenty of torn or chopped mint and cilantro leaves.

Slice the tuna into bite sized pieces and serve over the peach salad, topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and splash of sesame oil. Because the fruit is/was quite tart I did not add lemon or lime but that would make a delightful addition, especially if you used some to marinate the fish.

This recipe works great with green or semi-ripe mangoes as well – better even, if like me you are a mango aficionado.

Some years later (2015 summer) we replayed this dish in Kaushik’s kitchen in Toronto. Lots of fresh peaches were mixed with torn mint leaves, cilantro and also baby spinach (which was eaten on its own by the vegetarians among us before we added the fish) and the dressing was the searing solids liquified with some oil and lemon juice and strips of fresh ginger.

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