It's almost summer time, and the heat is nearly upon us. I understand that not all of you live in the Phoenix area, so perhaps you can't relate quite yet (we've already hit temperatures of over 100º F), but it will be here soon enough for the rest of you- this I know. The warmer months always bring about cravings that have been hibernating throughout the winter, unknowingly triggered by that first crank of the AC. I don't think it's uncommon to frequently yearn for a double scoop of strawberry ice cream, a refreshing cocktail or ceviche during the summer time, just like it's not uncommon to indulge in soups, stews and roasts when it's cooler outside.
So when I was challenged by Stonewall Kitchen (an innovative retailer of incredibly yummy sauces/jams/chutneys/mixes/marinades... you get the idea) to create a recipe inspired by one of their mustards, I pretty much knew that I wanted to create something that could be enjoyed when it was inhumanely hot outside.
The list of mustards to choose from made my decision extremely difficult. And while I frequently buy Stonewall Kitchen products, a common purchase being the lemon curd, I never fully understood the sheer amount of product they had to offer. With 12 mustards from which to make my selection, I had narrowed it down to the Blue Cheese Herb Mustard, Caramelized Onion Mustard, Maine Maple Champagne Mustard and the Wasabi Mustard. I'm sure you can guess which mustard I chose by taking a simple glance at the title of this post.
I'm still not exactly sure why I felt so drawn to the Wasabi Mustard. Asian food isn't typically something I make in my own kitchen. However, as I said earlier, I wanted to create something that was refreshing, light and easily enjoyed during the summer time.
It's also no secret that I like to come up with bite size portions- foods that are meant to be served at cocktail parties. Perhaps it's my catering background that is still influencing me, or maybe I'm subconsciously practicing for all the fancy dinner parties I plan on hosting at some point in my life. Whatever it is, I like finger foods, and I'm pretty sure you'll like these too.
Wasabi Mustard Seared Tuna on Crispy Rice
Recipe by Karlie
This sushi inspired appetizer is a combination of sweet and spicy flavors. It's perfect for a summer time soirée, because it can be served at room temperature and it's easily prepared ahead of time, as long as you don't stick the rice in the fridge. If you're looking for a lighter version, skip frying the rice. It can just as easily be enjoyed this way, however, I like the contrasting textures of the crunchy rice against the softer tuna.
2 cups sushi rice (easily found at most supermarkets)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped chives (from 1, 3/4oz pkg)- make sure to reserve 12 chive sprigs for garnish
2 tbsp black sesame seeds
2 tbsp regular sesame seeds
1, 32 oz bottle of canola oil
1 lb fresh, sushi grade tuna
black sesame seeds
regular sesame seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
Spicy Honey Mustard Sriracha Aioli-
1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman's)
1 tsp lime juice
1 tbsp Sriracha (available at most supermarkets in the Asian food aisle)
1 mango, peeled and very thinly sliced
2 fresno chiles, thinly sliced
12 chive sprigs, each cut into 4 pieces
2" round cookie or biscuit cutter
1. Cook the sushi rice according to package directions. Spoon the rice into a large, glass bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and set aside to cool. While the rice is cooking, heat the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the sugar and salt are dissolved, set aside to cool.
2. Gently fold the rice vinegar mixture and chopped chives into the cooled sushi rice. Be careful not to stir- this will change the texture of the rice. Use a spatula to cut vertically into the rice and lift, repeating until the chives and vinegar are fully incorporated.
3. Lightly spray a 13x10" baking pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tbsp of black sesame seeds and 1 tbsp of regular sesame seeds. Spoon rice out onto pan and with a piece of plastic wrap (this will help the rice from sticking to your hands), press rice down into pan so that it is even and covers the area from edge to edge. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp of black sesame and 1 tbsp regular sesame seeds.
4. Pour the canola oil into either a deep frying pan, a dutch oven or deep fryer. Heat the oil to 350ºF. While the oil is heating, use a 2" round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut out 24 rounds of rice. Working in batches of 3-4, fry the rice rounds for about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to drain and cool on paper towels.
5. Trim rounded edges off the piece(s) of tuna to make a large square. Cut this in half lengthwise so that you are left with long, rectangular pieces of tuna. You want each piece of tuna to be about 1"wide. So if you have a very large piece of tuna, you might need to cut it into 3 rectangles.
6. Working on one side of the tuna at a time, liberally slather each piece of tuna with the Wasabi Mustard, then sprinkle with black and regular sesame seeds, until each tuna rectangle is fully coated on all 4 sides.
7. Heat a skillet to medium heat. Add the olive oil and sesame oil. Sear tuna on each side for 30 seconds and set aside to cool.
8. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lime juice, Sriracha and Spicy Honey Mustard.
9. Once the tuna is cool enough to handle, slice it across the grain into 1/4" slices.
10. To assemble: top each rice round with a dab of the Spicy Honey Mustard Sriracha Aioli, a slice of tuna, another dab of aioli, a thin slice of mango, a slice of fresno chile and 2 chive matchsticks. Serve and enjoy!
Makes 24 pieces