For those who only started hanging around here in the past couple of years, I occasionally do an overhyped cooking post for the amusement of my family and friends on Facebook. It’s been a few years since the last one, but crossposting here in case anyone might be entertained by this.
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these cooking posts. Not because I’ve stopped cooking awesome things, no. Far from it. I just haven’t really been sure you guys deserve any more of these posts. But, everyone says that God gives us a grace we don’t deserve, and now I’m doing the same thing to all of you. One of the very many ways in which you could say that I am god-like.
Our subject for today is ahi tuna steak. You may remember tuna from all those sandwiches you ate when you were a kid. That’s not what we’re making here. You may not know it, but tuna steak is one of the most hardcore foods there is. Full of protein, which you need to build muscles, which you may recognize as those things you use to slay your enemies. It’s also full of Omega 3’s which is helpful in keeping you healthy so you can continue slaying your enemies for years to come. And it’s also something we are going to fry to an extreme and eat raw like a caveman AT THE SAME TIME. Physics need not apply here. And not only that, but tuna steaks are way cheaper than many other cuts of meat, and this cooks up way quick, so if you play your cards right, this is a way more accessible meal than most.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you make the world a much better place through your mere presence. And if you’re not like me, you certainly wish you were. You’ve got a long way to go, but you can start being more like me by making sure to source your tuna properly. Lots of tuna are either overfished or caught using methods that also kill turtles and a bunch of other sea creatures that young women coo over, so you’ve got to use your big brain and probably that supercomputer you’re carrying in your pocket throughout the grocery store to make sure it comes from a place that’s safe to get tuna from. Otherwise, you’re making the world a worse place, and nothing could be less like me.
Anyways, once you get ready to eat your tuna steak, first step is to put it in your refrigerator. Because you bought that sucker frozen. It’ll need to wait in there for about a day before it’s ready for you, so you’ll need to plan ahead. Use that genius brain of yours to figure out “Hmm, I might want something awesome tomorrow” to let you know when you’ll be ready for it.
Then, an hour before it’s dinnertime (again, use your giant brain to figure out when that’ll be) you’re going to want to get your marinade going. Now we’re making Ahi Tuna Steak. Ahi is what the Japanese call the yellowfin variety of tuna. Which means we need to use Asian flavorings for it. Because if you don’t, then it’s just a Yellowfin Tuna Steak, and who wants that? Now, you may recognize Asia as the place where we get all the ninjas, kung fu, and highly stylized pop singers from. We’re going to bring a smorgasboard of flavors together on this, because my greatness knows no boundaries. Even in cooking.
So for the marinade, we start with soy sauce. Soy sauce is like the ketchup of Asia. Low sodium soy sauce, because we’re already extending your life by getting you those omega 3’s, we’re not going to shorten it by pumping you full of salt. It goes with everything, full of flavor, and carries a salt-forward flavor profile incorporating four of the five flavor categories in a pleasant balance. So maybe it’s nothing like ketchup, but shut up, we’re moving on. Then, you add in a bit of toasted sesame oil. This stuff is key. I will throw this in to all my Asian recipes at the slightest opportunity. It is so great, I want a candle that smells like toasted sesame oil. Sometimes I’ll just open the bottle to take a good whiff on its own, even when I’m not using it. It adds a good bit of umami flavor to our mix. Umami is the Japanese word for “this tastes good but I don’t know how to describe it.” Third key ingredient, whenever we’re making a soy sauce marinade, we want to add something sweet to balance out the saltiness of the soy sauce, as the marinading process will bring the salt forward more than the other flavors. Either brown sugar or honey are typically good counterparts to soy sauce. I went with honey in this one, but it’s really a judgement call. Just recognize that my judgement is flawless. And finally, I want a bit of a kick to it, so we add a bit of cayenne pepper, and to give it some more body of flavor to match the mouthfeel of the tuna steak, we’re going to crack some black pepper into it. A lot of black pepper. More than you think you’ll need. Trust me, its hard to have too much fresh cracked black pepper.
So you mix that all up. You’re going to have to work hard at that too. Because neither honey nor brown sugar dissolve into the soy sauce+oil concoction we’ve made easily. I have the strength of ten men, so I got it done pretty easily, but you’ll have to put some work into it. When you’re done, you pat your thawed tuna steak dry so it can absorb the marinade more readily, then put most of the marinade and the steak into a plastic bag together for an hour. Save a little bit of the marinade, though. You can use that as a glaze/sauce once it’s done.
Towards the end of the hour, get yourself a pan, and get yourself some oil, and make it hot. Very hot. Almost as hot as me. You want that oil furious at you as soon as something enters it. Because we are going to take that tuna steak, and we are going to sear the hell out of that bad mother. You want to cook it as hot as the passion that rages within you. You could even get a small amount of char on it, and still be doing it right. So cook it hot and fast on one side, for a couple minutes at most, then flip it over, and do it again on the other. Again, a few minutes max. Yes, it’s still going to be raw in the middle. That’s the point of cooking it so hot. That’s what makes this dish so hardcore. And also so delicious. When you’re done, you pull it off and let it sit for a few minutes, then slice it up, pour that marinade you saved over it, and marvel at yourself about how you made yourself an awesome dinner with like ten minutes worth of work. In fact, I’ve spent more time typing up this post than I did actually cooking it. You all better be grateful for this glimpse into my majesty.
As for serving it goes, you’ll want some sides to go with. I had it with a bed of white rice and some sigeumchi namul. I make a mean sigeumchi namul, but I’m not going into that recipe here, because see what I said at the top about deserving this. The white rice will add some carbs to this, make it more filling and probably remind you a bit of sushi, and will also make this dish pair well with a glass of sake on the side. Because rice, rice wine, they might have a flavor connection or something. You figure it out.
Anyways, at this, hopefully you have a better understanding of how awesome I eat. And as they say, you are what you eat. So I’ll see everybody in another year or two. Maybe I’ll grace you with something like this again, then.