Tuna with Japanese Noodles and Soy Dipping Sauce
This recipe artfully combines ingredients and flavors borrowed from Asian cooking: Japanese, Indonesian, and a touch of Thai. Soba and somen are Japanese noodles, here tossed with peanut sauce as a bed for seared tuna fillets, which are in turn topped with an aromatic dipping sauce. All of the Asian ingredients are available from Asian markets, and in many large supermarkets.
- Dipping Sauce
- Soy Sauce - 1/2 cup
- Sesame Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Peanut Oil - 2/3 cup
- Fresh lime juice - 3 tablespoons
- Rice Wine Vinegar - 3 tablespoons
- Chili Paste - 2 teaspoons
- Molasses - 1 tablespoon
- Water - 1 tablespoon
- Fresh Lemongrass - 1 tablespoon, minced (optional)
- Fresh Ginger - 2 teaspoons, minced
- Green Onions - 1/2 bunch, chopped
- Garlic - 1/2 teaspoon, minced (optional)
- Peanut Sauce
- Roasted Peanuts - 1 cup
- Juice of 2 limes
- Sambal Oelek (Indonesian chili paste) - 1 scant teaspoon
- Garlic - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Rice Wine Vinegar - 6 tablespoons
- Peanut Oil - 1 cup
- Ketjap Manis (Indonesian soy sauce) - 2 tablespoons
- Soy Sauce - 2 tablespoons
- Fresh Cilantro - 2 tablespoons, minced
- Mixed carrot slices, snow peas, and red bell pepper slices - 1-1/2 cups
- Soba (buckwheat) Noodles - 8 ounces
- Somen Noodles - 8 ounces
- Fresh cilantro sprigs - 8 to 12, for garnish
- Tuna Fillets - eight, 6-ounce, about 3/4 inch thick
To make the dipping sauce: Whisk all of the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To make the peanut sauce: In a blender or food processor, pulse the first five ingredients until pureed, then pour in the oil slowly with the motor running. Stir in the ketjap manis and soy sauce, then the cilantro. Set aside.
Steam the vegetables over boiling water for 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Set aside. In two separate large pots, cook the soba and somen noodles for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain and toss with 1 cup of the peanut sauce.
To serve: Heat a charcoal grill or broiler to high heat. Grill the tuna fillets over hot coals for 2 minutes on each side (the tuna will be medium-rare). Make a bed of noodles in the center of each plate and place a tuna fillet on top. Garnish with steamed vegetables and cilantro sprigs; top with a little of the dipping sauce, and pass more dipping sauce in a bowl.