Sesame Seared Tuna with Ginger-Soy Kale + Kumquats
During the winter I usually crave warm, hearty meals, but every now and then, I still want something nice and light. After recently spending time in Switzerland–land of cheese, meat, and potatoes–I’ve had more and more of those days when I crave light, citrusy dishes. Some beautiful sushi grade tuna caught my eye in the market the other day. Instead of a ginger-orange-soy dipping sauce that’s often served with seared tuna, I opted for kumquats (because they looked so pretty and fresh) and a ginger-soy salad dressing for kale to make it more of a meal. This recipe makes enough for 2.
1/2 – 3/4 lb sushi grade tuna
2-3 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1″ segment fresh ginger root, divided
3 Tbsp + 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari (gluten free), divided
1 tsp honey (optional), divided
1/4 tsp sesame oil (optional), divided
6-8 large stems kale
1. Marinate tuna. Trim the tuna so that each edge is flat (so it can be seared). Peel and finely grate (or very finely mince) 1″ fresh ginger root. In a bowl just larger than the tuna, combine 1/2 of the ginger, 3 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp honey, and 1/8 tsp sesame oil. Add tuna to bowl. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour at most, turning tuna at least once.
2. Sear the tuna. Remove tuna from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Place 2-3 Tbsp sesame seeds in shallow dish slightly wider than the piece(s) of tuna. Press seeds into each side of tuna (add more if necessary). Preheat a skillet with 1 Tbsp oil to medium high heat. Sear each side of the tuna for 10-20 seconds. Set aside or place in the refrigerator to cool if desired.
3. Make salad. Remove kale from stems and chop or tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine remaining ginger, 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari, 2 tsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp honey, and 1/8 tsp sesame oil. Pour dressing over kale. Using hands, massage dressing into kale until tender. Thinly slice kumquats, careful to remove seeds.
4. Finish. Thinly slice tuna, about 1/4″ thick. Plate kale, then top with kumquats and tuna.
For quick assembly, you can sear the tuna and dress the salad ahead of time. Refrigerate both in airtight containers.
Massaging the kale helps break it down and tenderize it. If you don’t care for raw kale, cook the dressed and massaged kale in a pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
Substitute kumquats for citrus segments such as clementines, oranges, tangerines, etc.
Substitute fresh ginger with 1/2 tsp ground ginger.
You can totally skip the marinade if you’re in a hurry. Lightly salt all sides of the tuna before adding sesame seeds.
Typically soy sauce is made with wheat. Tamari is a wheat free (and therefore gluten free) soy sauce that tastes virtually the same!
Fresh ginger stores well in the freezer and grates easily when frozen.
If you have them, you can mix white and black sesame seeds for a pretty crust on the tuna.