From Fish Tales by Tom Kime and Bart Van Olphen RRP $45, published by Kyle Cathie and available at all good bookstores.
This is a very simple dish to put together and needs little preparation. It looks impressive; the crusted fish takes on a textured appearance from the sesame seeds, cinnamon and coriander seeds, while the fresh green of the vegetables is punctuated with the red chilli, and it all glistens with the zesty and spicy warm Asian vinaigrette.
First make the vinaigrette. Mix together the orange zest and ginger, the springonions, Japanese seven-spice and the sugar. Add all the other ingredients.
Taste and adjust the flavourings as necessary: the dressing should be hot, sweet, salty and sour. (You could add a little fresh chilli, if desired.) This dressing can be made in advance and kept for a few days, but do taste before using and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Cut the tuna into steaks and season with salt, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander seeds and sesame seeds. Shake off the excess powder. Preheat a frying pan until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add the tuna steaks and cook for 11/2 minutes each side. Remove from the heat and cut into three or four slices.
You need to cook the greens at the same time as the tuna, because they will not take long, and it is important not to overcook the tuna. Heat a wok on a medium–high heat. Add a splash of oil, then add the garlic, chilli and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, then add the asparagus, courgettes and sugar snap peas and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. (If you prefer, you could use bok choy, spinach or tender-stemmed broccoli.)
When the green vegetables are cooked, add some of the torn fresh mint.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. While the vegetables are cooking, warm through the Asian vinaigrette. Serve the sliced tuna immediately on top of the wok-fried vegetables. Dress with the warm Asiandressing and garnish with the remaining mint.
TIP Japanese seven-spice Schichimi Togarashi is a delicious blend of seven flavours: dried chilli pepper, Sansho pepper (which is similar to Sichuan pepper), orange zest blended with black and white sesame seeds, poppy seeds, nori seaweed and ginger. It is available in Asian grocers and Chinese and Japanese food shops.
Other recipes from Fish Tales:
Spiced fish tagine with cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper
Grilled salmon with herb lentils and salsa verde