Ahi Tuna Tempura, Grilled Rice Paper, and Mango-Black Bean Dressing
Each colorful tuna roll shows off its filling when it is cut on the bias and stood up on the plate. An unusual garnish is the toasted rice paper, used vertically as a divider on the plates. The mango-black bean dressing could be used with other fish dishes. This dish depends on the quality of the tuna; get the very best available.
- Mango-Black Bean Dressing
- Black Beans - 1/2 cup, cooked
- Mango - 1/2 cup, peeled and diced
- Cilantro - 1 teaspoon, chopped
- Sweet Chili Sauce - 1 tablespoon
- Rice Wine Vinegar - 1/8 cup
- Sake - 1/8 cup
- Soy Sauce - 1/4 cup
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cilantro - 1 tablespoon
- Ahi Tuna Steaks - four, 3-ounce
- Pencil Asparagus - 12 stems, blanched
- Baby Carrots - 4, peeled and blanched
- Yellow Bell Pepper - 1/4, seeded, deribbed, and cut into narrow strips
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Nori (dried seaweed) - 2 sheets
- Flour - 1 cup
- Soda Water - 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- Pinch of salt
- Light vegetable oil - for deep frying
- Rice Paper dough - 2 sheets
- Mixed Greens - 1 cup, fresh
- Chives - 8, whole
To make the dressing: Combine all ingredients and set aside for at least 1 hour.
To make the tuna: With a sharp knife, butterfly each tuna steak and open out flat. Split the asparagus and carrots in half lengthwise. Place the asparagus, peppers, and carrots in the center of each piece of tuna and roll the tuna around the vegetables into a cylinder. Keep the vegetables in the center of the tuna. Roll in plastic wrap, seal, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.
Mix together the flour, 1 cup of the soda water and salt in a shallow bowl. The batter should be loose, about the consistency of pancake batter; add more soda water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin the batter if necessary. Heat the oil to 360 F in a deep fryer. Take the tuna rolls out of the refrigerator and unwrap. Cut each sheet of nori in half and wrap one half sheet around each tuna roll. Dip the chilled tuna rolls into the batter and deep fry for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. The object is to crisp the batter, not cook the tuna all the way through.
To make the rice paper crisps: Heat the broiler as high as it will go. Cut the circles of rice paper in half. Lay the rice paper pieces on a baking sheet and broil until crispy, about 30 seconds. Watch as it cooks very quickly. When it just begins to brown, remove from the broiler. Curve the pieces while they are warm.
To serve: Stand a piece of grilled rice paper on each plate. Cut each tuna roll on the bias and stand two pieces, cut-side up, on each side of the rice paper. Divide the greens among the plates. Divide the mango-black bean dressing among the plates. Garnish each plate with two chives.