Seared tuna with sweet lychee and lemongrass sauce with a side of bok choy.
Recipe: Seared Sesame Tuna
With Lemongrass & Lychee Coulis*
For decades, lychee and lemongrass, two flavors from the Pacific Rim, have been entrancing Americans in Asian cuisines. Lemongrass is actually a grass with a citrus flavor. It’s popular in Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese and other Pacific Rim cuisines, as well as in Caribbean cooking. Lychee (also spelled litchi, and pronounced LEE-chee) is the fruit of a Chinese evergreen tree—the bright red exterior is peeled away to revel the milky white fruit inside. The exotic flavors of each create wonderful fusion dishes. Start by enhancing that everyday tuna steak with this recipe for Seared Sesame Tuna with Lemon Grass and Lychee Coulis. Lychee and lemongrass are one of McCormick’s 10 flavor trends for 2008. See the other flavor trends.
*Coulis (coo-LEE, from French for strained) is a type of sauce made from puréed and strained vegetables or fruits.
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 3 stalks lemongrass, cut into thirds (shown in photo below)
- 1/3 cup fresh or drained canned lychee halves
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon kecap manis† or soy sauce
- 10 ounces baby bok choy
- 2 tablespoons panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seed
- 2 tablespoons sesame seed
- 1 pound yellowfin ahi tuna (1 to 1 1/4-inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon Sicilian sea salt, divided
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1/2 cup fresh or drained canned lychee halves (shown in photo at right)
- McCormick Black Peppercorn Grinder
†Kecap manis is a thick, sweet soy sauce, typically used in Indonesian cooking. It can be found in Asian groceries.
Lemongrass And Lychee Coulis
- Microwave coconut milk in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH for 20 to 30 seconds. Add lemongrass pieces; let stand 10 minutes. Place coconut milk, lemongrass and remaining dressing ingredients in blender container; cover. Blend 30 seconds or until lemon grass is shredded.
- Strain mixture, pressing solids with spoon to extract liquid.
- Prepare ice water bath in large bowl; set aside. Trim root ends of bok choy. Separate into leaves and rinse. Bring large saucepan of salted water to boil. Add boy choy; cook 30 seconds. Drain. Transfer to ice water to stop cooking process. Place bok choy on paper towels. Set aside.
- Mix bread crumbs and sesame seeds on large plate. Cut tuna into 4 steaks. Moisten lightly with water. Season tuna with 1/2 teaspoon of the sea salt. Coat both sides with sesame seed mixture, pressing firmly so mixture adheres to tuna. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. For medium-rare tuna, cook 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove tuna to plate; cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same large skillet on medium-high heat. Add bok choy and lychee; cook and stir 1 minute or just until heated through. Season to taste with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper grinder. To serve, slice tuna into thin slices. Arrange bok choy mixture in center of each plate. Top with tuna slices. Drizzle with Lemongrass and Lychee Coulis.
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