Nori-wrapped Peppercorn-crusted Tuna with Mizuna, Enoki, and Wasabi
The rolled nori gives the tuna in this dish the look of contemporary cone sushi. The sansho peppercorns may be replaced with Cajun-style spice rub. Mizuna, a Japanese salad green, may be e replaced with a leafy green cabbage such as baby bok choy.
- Ahi Tuna Fillet - 12 ounces, cut into 2-inch cubes
- Ground Sansho or other fine-quality peppercorns - 2 tablespoons
- Peanut Oil - 1/4 cup
- Eggplant Chips
- Olive oil cooking spray
- Japanese Eggplants - 1, cut lengthwise into thin strips
- Hawaiian or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Olive oil for brushing
- Furikake Seasoning - 2 tablespoons
- Black Sesame Seeds - 1 tablespoon
- White Sesame Seeds - 1 tablespoon
- Wasabi Paste - 1 cup, mixed with enough water to make a liquid
- Dark Soy Sauce - 1 cup
- Nori sheets - 8, halved lengthwise
- Mizuna or other leafy salad greens - 1/4 cup
- Daikon Sprouts - 2 cups
- Enoki Mushrooms - 2 cups
- Tobiko (orange fish roe) - 1/4 cup
- Shiso leaves - 16
- Pickled Ginger - 1/8 cup, or garnish
To prepare the ahi: Roll the tuna cubes in the peppercorns to coat. In a large saute pan or skillet over high heat, heat the peanut oil for 1 minute, or until it ripples. It should not smoke. Sear the cubes about 30 seconds on each side, or until opaque on the outside and rare inside. Drain on paper towels and let cool.
To make the eggplant chips: Preheat the oven to 450 F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil and lay the eggplant slices on it. Spray the eggplant with olive oil cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Set aside.
To serve: Brush each plate with olive oil and sprinkle it with furikake and sesame seeds. Put the diluted wasabi paste and the soy sauce into squeeze bottles. Drizzle the wasabi and soy sauce alternately in a criss-cross pattern on each plate. Lay each sheet of nori flat on a work surface. Divide the greens, eggplant chips, daikon sprouts, mushrooms, and seared tuna among the nori sheets and layer them in the center of each sheet. Roll each sheet of nori into a cone and place 2 cones on each plate. Spoon 1-1/2 teaspoons tobiko inside the top of each cone. Lay 2 shiso leaves at the base of each cone and garnish the plate with pickled ginger.