Strawberries and Tuna with Wasabi Dressing イチゴとマグロのわさび和え

japanese cake
I came across a very interesting recipe using raw tuna and strawberries. I just could not imagine how this combination would taste and wanted to try it. Unfortunately, the strawberries I can get around here are not of the caliber available in Japan and the tuna I can get is frozen yellowfin tuna. In addition, nanohana 菜の花 or rape blossom cannot be had in US and I had to substitute broccolini. So, at best, this was a variation on the original recipes but this is the best I could do with ingredients available to me. I can only imagine whether the original tasted better.  

At least, visually it appears similar to the original recipe.

Ingredients:

Tuna, half block, (I used my usual frozen yellowfin tuna), cut into 5mm cubes (#1)

Strawberries, 5-6 (or about the same amount as the tuna), cut into 5mm cubes (#2)

Broccolini, one bundle, only top portion, blanched in salted water and then shocked in ice water (#3), using a knife to remove the buds (#4).

Salt 1/6 tsp

For Sauce

Sesame paste, white, 1 tbs

Wasabi (I used real wasabi) 1 tsp

Mirin 1 tbs

Soy sauce 1 tbs

For seasoning broccolini buds 

Japanese noodle sauce, concentrated (x3)

Directions:

  1. I sprinkled salt over the tuna cubes, mixed and let it stand as I prepared the other items.
  2. Although this was not in the original recipe, I seasoned the broccolini buds with a small amount of mentsuyu 麺つゆ, Japanese noodle sauce, mixed well and then squeezed out the excess sauce (#4).
  3. I mixed the strawberries and tuna cubes.
  4. Using a round mold, I first packed a layer of tuna-strawberry mixture (#5).
  5. I then layered the broccolini, packed tight using the back of a spoon (#6).
  6. I mixed, the sesame paste, wasabi, mirin, and soy sauce in a Japanese mortar “suribachi” and mixed it well. I added more wasabi after I tasted it.
  7. I poured the sauce around the mold, garnished the top with slices of strawberry and carefully removed the mold.

Strawberries and tuna are indeed an interesting and good combination. If both the strawberries and tuna were better quality, this could have been spectacular. The sauce was good but had a predominantly sesame flavor and the wasabi was not very forthcoming. I may change the proportion of the ingredients in the sauce if I make this dish again.  But this dish was still very good and unique. We had cold sake with this, which went very well,  but I wonder if chilled champagne might have been a better pairing. We’ll just have to make this again to see. 

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