I am a silly drunk, and my tolerance is super low since I’ve been training for this half marathon. For Sunday night dinner, E and I wanted fish. We didn’t want to do tuna burgers again, but tuna tataki sandwiches with a nice sesame crust would work. I thought it would be so easy. But then, E poured me a glass of wine, and this new show on the Discovery Channel called “Airplane Repo” came on. And then, I could not get off of the couch.
A half-hour episode—this pudgy unsuspecting dude goes around snatching planes? Awesome!—goes by. “Are you going to cook?!” E asked, hungry and annoyed.
I tried to mix the seasoning into a bowl. Sesame seeds went everywhere. E raised an eyebrow. “Let me help you with the tuna. I don’t know if you can handle an open flame in your condition.” While E took a handle of the fish, you would have thought I would have toasted the bread. “Oh, yes, bread!” I pulled it out after a minute. “Does that look toasted to you, honey?” E said. Is the oven on? Right.
I couldn’t even assemble the sandwich right. I placed all of the ingredients on the top of the bread, instead of stacking them on the seedy flat bottom.
Eventually, we ate. The sandwiches were surprisingly good. Perhaps because E made the yuzu sauce, which gave it a zesty zing, and cooked the tuna to make sure I didn’t send it up in flames. If it weren’t for him, we would probably be ordering takeout.
“Thanks for your help,” I told him with half-closed eyes.
“You’re so doing the dishes,” E replied.
1/2 pound fresh ahi tuna steak
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup radish sprouts
1 cup mixed greens
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 baguette, cut into three-inch sandwich parts
Yuzi sauce (from Eric Ripert’s cookbook “On The Line”)
1 tablespoon white miso paste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons yuzu juice
2 tablespoons mirin
1/4 cup ginger oil, strained
salt and pepper
For yuzu sauce: whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
For tuna: mix sesame seeds, salt and pepper in a shallow flat bowl or plate. Cut notches in tuna about 1/4″ apart, which makes for easier cutting once cooked. Heat skillet on high heat, then add olive oil when pan is hot. Coat tuna with sesame seed mixture. Sear tuna about 30 seconds to a minute on each side, rotating with tongs (E used his hand and a spatula. Such a man). Remove from heat and let rest. Carve into slices along the notches.
Toast baguette. Dress greens in a small bowl with a tablespoons or two of yuzu vinaigrette, and mix with hand. After bread is warmed, slather on yuzu sauce on inside of slices. Layer on dressed greens. Then place two or three slices of tuna on bed of greens. Then layer on a thin slice of jalapeno. Place sprigs of radish sprouts on top. Cover with top of sandwich and enjoy. One pound of tuna can make four small sandwiches.