Susan Jung's recipes

Video: Home Cooking with Susan Jung - seared tuna with corn, ikura, and tomato and avocado salsa

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 June, 2015, 3:19pm
UPDATED : Friday, 26 June, 2015, 8:30am

WATCH: Susan Jung makes seared tuna with corn, ikura, and tomato and avocado salsa 

I got the idea for this dish from a photo a friend posted on Facebook - her husband, who's a chef, cooked it for their dinner. It's easy, fast and delicious.

It's essential that you avoid overcooking the tuna, or it will be tough and dry. Heat the pan so it's very hot, so the fish sears in less than 30 seconds per side.

Wrapping the tuna in kombu (giant kelp) os optional. Japanese sushi chefs do it with certain types of fish, to help 'age' the fish while adding flavour (kombu is a great source of umami). I do much more briefly (just for a day or two) but basically for the same reasons.

Ikura (cured salmon roe) can be purchased from shops specialising in Japanese ingredients.

Seared tuna with corn, ikura, and tomato and avocado salsa

10ml cooking oil

Kombu as needed (optional)
The kernels from two ears of corn
1 ripe avocado
50 grams cherry tomatoes, diced
1 small shallot, minced
About 10ml lime juice, or to taste
1-2 red bird's eye chillies, minced
Fresh coriander leaves
2 tuna fillets, about 200 grams each and at least 1.5cm thick
Olive oil, as needed
About 20 grams ikura
Fine salt, rough-flaked salt (such as Maldon) and freshly ground black pepper

If using the kombu, soak pieces of giant kelp in warm water for about 10 minutes, or until pliable. Dry the kelp with paper towels. Wrap the pieces of fish in the kombu, then refrigerate overnight. Remove the kelp before cooking the fish.

Heat the cooking oil in a wok set over a medium-high flame. When the oil is hot, add the corn and a little salt. Stir-fry until some of the corn is lightly charred - be careful, because the kernels might pop. Remove the corn from the wok and leave it to cool.

Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Carefully cut the avocado into cubes while it's still in the shell. Use a large spoon to scoop the avocado from the shell and put it into a bowl. Gently mix in the diced tomatoes and minced shallot, then season to taste with lime juice, bird's-eye chilli, some chopped coriander and salt.

Thoroughly coat the tuna fillets with olive oil. Heat a skillet over a high flame until it's very hot. Sear the tuna fillets on one side, then flip them over and sear the other side. This should take less than one minute in total. Sprinkle the tuna fillets with salt.

Put the corn on a serving platter or two dinner plates. Slice the tuna about 8mm thick, then lay the pieces on top of the corn. Top with the tomato and avocado salsa. Spoon the ikura over the ingredients, garnish with coriander leaves (if desired), sprinkle lightly with rough-flaked salt, then serve immediately.