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Fish and Shellfish, Mains

Seared Ahi Tuna

Seared Ahi Tuna
Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Cooking fish at home can seem intimidating, but it's much easier than you might think. Take your cue from Paul Kahan, the chef-owner of Blackbird Restaurant in Chicago. Kahan is a gifted cook who can combine bold, interesting flavors in ... Read more

Total time: 15 minutes | Serves 6 as first course
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound ahi tuna in 1 piece, approximately 2 inches thick and 2 inches wide
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Soybean Pancakes
  • Basil, Olive and Soybean Garnish

Step 1Toast the fennel and coriander seeds in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until they are fragrant, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Cool. Use a heavy-bottom skillet on a hard surface to crush the seeds. Combine the seeds with the salt and pepper on a small plate. Dividing the spices equally, press them onto the tuna on all sides to make a firm thin crust. (The recipe can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated for several hours.)

Step 2When you are ready to serve, heat the oil in a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is smoking. Sear the tuna about 1 minute on each side; the tuna will be barely rare and barely warm in the center. Alternatively, cook the fish to your taste, remembering that tuna cooked through tends to be dry and tasteless.

Step 3To serve the tuna, cut it into 1/4-inch thick slices. Arrange 2 Soybean Pancakes on each plate and top with tuna slices, then with the Basil, Olive and Soybean Garnish, dividing all evenly.


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