Sunday, August 27, 2006

Seared Ahi With Ginger Shitake Sauce

We went to a good friend's birthday party last night and had a blast (from which, unfortunately, I'm still recovering). All the invitees were asked to bring a potluck dish so I made two loaves of the anchovy-asiago butter recipe from last Wednesday's Beach Night, and a recipe I posted (with an atrocious photo) some time ago for seared ahi in a ginger-shitake sauce. I've got much better photos this time around and because I get so many google hits for seared ahi, thought I'd post it again, this time in a prettier format.

2 - 8 ounce ahi tuna steaks, sushi grade
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground Tellicherry peppercorns, divided
2 tablespoons safflower oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
4 tablespoons fresh, peeled ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 pound fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (regular soy sauce will overpower the cream sauce)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon coarsely cracked peppercorns on one side of each ahi steak and press in to adhere. Set aside while preparing the sauce.

Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat. Add green onions, cliantro, ginger and garlic and saute until aromatic, 30 to 45 seconds.
Mix in mushrooms and soy sauce and simmer 30 seconds more or until the mushrooms "melt".
Add the 1/2 & 1/2 and simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon and thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, to taste then remove the sauce from the heat and keep in a warm place.

In a large cast iron (or other heavy) skillet, heat the safflower oil over medium high heat. Place tuna steaks, pepper side down, in hot oil and sear for 2-3 minutes.
Turn the steaks over and continue searing until desired doneness is reached, about 2 minutes for very rare, 3 minutes for rare to medium-rare.
Remove to a cutting board, allow to sit 2-3 minutes then slice into thin slices.
Place a pool of the shitake-ginger sauce on each plate and lay several slices of the seared ahi on top of the sauce. Garnish with a cilantro sprig.

Note: In my previous ahi recipe, I specified using Land O'Lakes Fat Free 1/2 & 1/2. I used to use this product freely until I discovered the amount of carbs it contains, which is double that of low-fat milk. So, if you're counting carbs, I can no longer recommend the use of this product for that purpose. If you're counting fat, I would recommend its use judiciously. I still use it in certain recipes, such as custards, ice creams, clafoutis, etc. For me, using heavy cream or even regular 1/2 & 1/2 is just too much fat and calories.


  1. Yum! Wish I were at the birthday bash. ;-)


  2. Hi Paz, Good to hear from you!
    At first, people didn't know what it was and were asking others about it. When the word got out, it was gone in minutes.


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