So. Much. Food.
December is filled with many celebratory meals and I like to balance out all the goodies with the odd meal that is light and crisp. Today that balance comes in the form of “Tuna ceviche with salad shoots, herb cresses and a kinda yuzu dressing” from one of Jamie Oliver’s books, Jamie at Home. This dish is bright and clean, offering a welcome taste of summer, though it is made with seasonal winter ingredients.
We are spoiled here in Vancouver with the abundant supply of fresh seafood available from local waters, though we are careful to ensure we select only fish that has been sustainably harvested. For this dish we visited our neighbourhood fish shop, The Fish Counter. It is owned and operated by acclaimed chef and long-time advocate for sustainable oceans, Robert Clark.
Ceviche is great for a quick dinner when you are busy prepping for the holidays, because you literally don’t have to cook anything. Ceviche is raw fish cooked by the acidity of citrus, in this case yuzu. Yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit with hints of mandarin and grapefruit. Forthis recipe, the yuzu effect is achieved by combining the juices of clementine, grapefruit, and lime – a great substitute in other recipes too if you can’t find yuzu itself.
Continuing the Asian inspiration, the tuna is complimented by ginger, sesame and soy. Finally, the dish is rounded out with a mixture of locally grown sprouts. We used sunflower sprouts and pea shoots from the Food Pedalers Cooperative, a local supplier. Our addition of watermelon radish added a peppery undertone and burst of colour.
- Juice and zest of one lime
- Juice and zest of 1½ clementines or mandarin oranges
- Juice of ¼ grapefruit
- Quality oil for frying
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 1 x 14 ounce tuna loin, skin and sinew removed*
- About 3 cups of mixed winter shoots, herb, sprouts, and/or cresses
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Sea salt
- Optional garnishes: thinly sliced avocado, watermelon radish, toasted sesame seeds
*We used albacore tuna, but you could also use ahi if it is readily available. Look for sushi-grade tuna when you are buying it, and don’t be afraid if it is frozen. In fact, some of the best quality fish is often flash-frozen on the boat as soon as it’s caught. You can’t beat the level of freshness this provides; and the integrity of the fish will be preserved as long as you defrost it properly. Thaw in the fridge or run under cold water.
Mix the juices, zest, and pinch of salt together to make dressing. Set aside.
Heat about one inch of oil in a small, deep frying pan. Use one slice of garlic to test the oil: if it floats to the top and sizzles readily, it’s hot enough. Working in batches and being careful not to burn, fry the garlic and ginger slices until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, or fork, and drain on paper towel. Set aside.
For the tuna, using a sharp knife cut the loin in half lengthwise and cross-slice into 1/8 inch pieces. Lay flat on a platter or individual plates and sprinkle with sea salt.
Top tuna with mixture of shoots/sprouts and drizzle with the yuzu dressing, soy sauce, and a little sesame oil. Sprinkle with ginger and garlic slices and optional garnishes, if using.