So to celebrate that we're back home after a lovely long holiday in Sweden, I decided to steam tuna. I did this once before, but I have vague memories of the fish being a bit on the bland side.
My theory is that if I reduce the amount of fat in my cooking, I need to use a lot more herbs and spices so as to compensate and still make things taste nice.
In addition, Lundulph has also requested that we avoid red meat as much as possible.
This time, I think I got it right.
2 dl sushi rice
3 dl water
2 tbsp ginger paste
1 small clove of garlic
1 stalk lemon grass
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp fresh dill
2 fresh kaffir lime leaves
3 tuna steaks (about 130 g each)
2 handfuls cauliflower
2 handfuls broccoli
2 medium sized carrots
250 g chestnut mushrooms
225 g can of bamboo shoots
1 dl frozen peas
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Thai seven spice (dry mixture)
- Rinse the rice and place in a small saucepan, cover with the water and let soak for 30 minutes.
- Place the ginger paste in a small bowl. Peel and press in the garlic. Using a rolling pin, crush the lemon grass, then cut it in 1 cm pieces and add to the bowl. Pour in the soy sauce. Wash the dill and kaffir lime leaves, then cut finely and add to the bowl. Mix together the marinade.
- Then using a little of it, spread on one side of a tuna steak, place the steak in a small plastic bag with the coated side down. Spread more marinade on top of it and place the next steak over it. Repeat with the third steak, squeeze out as much of the air out and tie the bag securely, then rub in the marinade and set aside until it's time to cook.
- Wash the cauliflower and broccoli, then cut into small florets - about the size of a small bite.
- Wash and peel the carrots, then cut into julienne sticks. Peel and slice the mushrooms into 2 - 3 mm thickness. Drain the bamboo shoots.
- Prepare a large deepish and lidded saucepan with a steam inset. If it is a metal one, place two layers of cheese cloth on it to prevent the tuna from sticking.
- By now, the 30 minutes of soaking should be over, so cover the rice pan and put on medium heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat a little and let cook for 10 minutes.
- At the same time bring the water for steaming to the boil
- Heat up the sesame oil in a large wok or frying pan until it bubbles, then add the cauliflower, broccoli and carrots and stir round to get them well coated. Then add the mushrooms and bamboo shoots and frozen peas.
- When the steamer is "ready" place the tuna steaks in a single layer on top of the cheese cloth, cover with the lid and let steam. Turn the steaks over if needed.
- Keep stirring the vegetables regularly and add the soy sauce and the Thai seven spice mixture. Fry until the vegetables have started to soften, they should be ready around the same time as the rice. The tuna may require a couple of minutes longer.
- Serve and eat immediately.
The big excitement was the fresh kaffir lime leaves, I'd not seen these in the supermarket before and have been using my old stash of dried ones, but this opportunity was too good to miss and I also got to smell and taste them - very delicate lemony aroma. And I worried for a short moment that it would be too overwhelming, combined with the lemon grass, but no, it was just fine.
Marinating was also a very good idea, I didn't do this as thoroughly the previous time.
This is also the first time I cook sushi rice. I bought the packet a while ago, to work on my alternative sushi, I think there is potential there, but somehow forgot about it and it had hidden away in a corner of the larder. I followed the cooking instructions on the packet, apart from the drizzling with rice wine at the end. I have rice vinegar, but suspected it could not be used as a replacement. The rice was wonderfully sticky and I used my ice cream scoop for putting on the plates.
And I decided to finally try out my two serving rings - yet another enthusiastic purchase a few years back - and never used. This is quite a gimmick, but I was quite pleased with my plating.
I left the marinade on the tuna while steaming and I told Lundulph to scrape off as much as possible rather than eat it. Not that it is dangerous, but I thought the lemon grass would be fairly fibrous and chewy and the kaffir lime leaves pretty thick too. But he ate them and commented on how lemony things tasted. Perhaps it would have been better to process the whole marinade before applying it to the steaks. I'll try that next time.
As for the frozen peas, I had intended to use edamame beans, but got the wrong packet out from the freezer, so left it at that. And the mushrooms were not my first choice - I wanted shiitake mushrooms, but they didn't look nice in the shops, that's why I opted for chestnut mushrooms.
Lundulph said he would have preferred brown rice instead, but ended up cleaning his plate anyway and so did I.