Vacations are long anticipated, and over too quickly. We are now home again refreshed, renewed and ready to pick up where we left off. I had so made food-related adventures that I’m anxious to tell you about, that I don’t know where to start. I guess the logical place is at the beginning.
Our destination was the eastern shore of North Carolina, where I have family. On the day of our arrival our host was out deep-sea fishing with friends. When he came home he brought a selection of fish he and the guys had caught, one of which was tuna. The next day we cooked it, grilling it in a smoker. This was my first experience with cooking in a smoker. We searched through several books on smoker cooking and decided to try this recipe for a mildly flavored marinade so as not to overwhelm the tuna. It was a good choice. The butter and sesame oil kept the fish moist and buttery and the acidic flavors of lemon and rice vinegar and the bite of ginger kept it all in balance. The flavor of the fish was incredible; slightly smoky, and falling apart tender.
KOHALA TUNA STEAKS
- 6 Tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted, melted
- 6 Tablespoons Asian-style sesame oil
- 6 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh gingeer
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 crushed tiny hot red chile (optional)
4 tuna steaks, each about 1 inch thick
1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, either kosher or sea salt
soy sauce for serving
1. Soak wood chips of your choice for about an hour prior to smoking. We used apple wood chips.
2. Prepare smoker for barbecuing, bringing temperature to 180 to 200 degrees.
3. In a shallow pan or baking dish, mix the marinade ingredients.
Place the tuna steaks in the dish and turn to coat both sides with the marinade. Allow to sit at room temperature for 20 -30 minutes, turning the steaks several times.
4. Heat a skillet over high heat and sprinkle in the salt. Drain the tuna steaks. Sear the steaks quickly on both sides. Before you smoke meaty fish steaks, such as tuna or swordfish, it helps to sear them quickly over high heat to seal in their juices and add a light crust.
5. Transfer the steaks to the smoker. Cook the tuna to desired doneness, 20 – 25 minutes for medium-rare. Avoid over cooking the tuna. Serve hot with soy sauce.
Suggested go withs: Mix up a salad of thinly sliced snow peas, carrots, water chestnuts, and napa cabbage or bok choy tossed with a vinaigrette made with Asian-style sesame oil and rice vinegar; we served this with twice-baked potatoes also. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.
Wine go-withs include pinot gris, chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc, crisp whites or a fruity reisling.
SOURCE: Smoke and Spice, by Cheryl and Bill Jamison