The frozen yellowfin tuna sashimi block I thawed when we returned home from a trip to find our cherry trees in full bloom was rather large. So, the next day, being inspired by a recipe I saw on line, I made this tuna cutlet. I also made a sort-of onion (actually a shallot) sauce to go with the cutlet. Although the weather wasn’t good enough to sit outside, we admired the cherry blossoms while sitting inside.
The center of the tuna was still basically raw but the crust and the surface of the tuna were cooked and crispy.
Although the original recipe called for an onion sauce I made a sauce using shallots instead. Actually, my sauce was inspired by but not really based on the recipe; I just came up with it. This is a variation on the classic Japanese “onion” sauce ネギソース which is often used with deep fried food in Japan.
Tuna Sashimi block, cut into two 1.5 inch wide pieces.
Flour, egg+water, and Japanese Panko bread crumbs for dredging.
Salt and black pepper for seasoning the tuna.
Oil for deep frying (I used peanut oil).
Shallot, one medium, finely chopped
Olive oil, 2 tsps
Soy sauce, 4 tsps
Mirin and sake 1 tsp each
Lemon juice, 1 tsp
For the sauce
1. Slowly sauté the shallot in light olive oil on medium-low flame for several minutes until cooked but not browned or caramelized.
2. Add the soy sauce, mirin and sake and let it come to a simmer for several minutes. Then let it cool to room temperature.
3. Before serving, add the lemon juice (I thought of using black vinegar instead, if that were the case, I would add it with the rest of the ingredients).
For the cutlet
1. If using frozen tuna block, thaw ahead of time, season with salt and pepper
2. Dredge with flour, egg water and Panko bread crumbs.
3. Deep fry for 1 minute or less in 370F oil until the surface becomes crispy and golden brown (picture below).
4. Drain on a paper towel lined plate (see below). The center should still be uncooked.
5. Slice into 1/3 inch slices.
This was much better than I expected. I could have added more acid to the sauce but the cooked shallot worked well; It was sort of a cross between onion and garlic with good sweetness and some nuttiness. The cutlet had a nice crunchy crust with a center of uncooked tuna giving a nice textural and taste contrast. The sauce really made the dish. We found another good way of serving low-quality frozen yellowfin tuna block.