This is probably my favorite recipe. I got it originally from Smokejacks, a really cool restaurant in Burlington, Vermont which unfortunately now seems to be closed. Well this dish will live on.
Equipment-wise you will need a cast iron pan and a mandoline slicer. I got this one for my birthday which does the trick using the smallest setting.
Here’s the recipe, I’ve bolded the ingredients.
Cucumber noodle salad
Slice cucumbers lengthwise with the mandoline. You’ll need the European seedless cucumbers (they come wrapped in plastic), about one per person.
Slice some napa cabbage into 3/4″ strips. The green leafy part is better than the white part. I do about 2-to-1 cucumbers to napa.
Now, before you make the dressing, turn the oven on broil and put your cast iron in so it captures a lot of heat.
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup fish sauce (try to get some that looks dark brown, not black)
1/16 cup sesame oil
1/16 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup olive oil
That’s enough for 3 cucumbers worth. You can also toss in some powdered garlic and powdered ginger. Adjust to taste.
Throw the dressing on the cucumbers and napa so it can sit for 15 minutes.
Cover the tuna in olive oil and sesame seeds.
Take your red-hot cast iron out of the oven and put it on high heat on the stove. Cook the tuna a little less than a minute on both sides, and also sear the sides. You can adjust the cooking time depending on how fresh you think the tuna is. The idea of searing is to kill any bacteria on the outside, while keeping the inside raw. Go for the thicker pieces of tuna at the store. After searing, slice the tuna into 1/4″ strips.
Poppadom is the chip you get at an Indian restaurant. You will need to get this at an Indian grocery store. My brand has a creepy bunny on it. Just fry these in olive oil on medium-high heat until they look right, a little less than a minute per side.
Presentation and Tuna Squirt
If you want to be fancy, you can arrange the tuna on the cucumber salad and put a cracked poppadom in the middle sticking up.
Also combine soy sauce and citrus juice (orange juice, lemonade, whatever you have) in 2-to-1 ratio along with some wasabi powder. It’s nice to use a squirt bottle to put this on the tuna, but you can also just spoon it on if you can’t find your squirt bottle.
Hooray! You’re eating one of my favorite meals. Once you get the hang of this it’s actually really quick, and easy to parallelize.