I’m generally skeptical of eating fish in Missouri, a landlocked state more than 1,000 miles from a coast in either direction. But when I saw some perfectly pink tuna behind the glass of Hy-Vee, I remembered the tangy marinade I made when I was in Sydney last year. Michael wasn’t thrilled about the idea of fish for dinner, but I was already dreaming of the ginger, soy, citrus combination.
When we got back to the house, Michael suggested serving it with raw carrots and cucumbers on top of warm rice. I wasn’t immediately sold, but I didn’t put up a fight.
Well, wouldn’t you know it…I loved the tuna in the deconstructed sushi style, and Michael loved the meaty tuna steak. His exact words were, “My mouth is very happy.”
This dinner is quick and easy, which isn’t always the case in my kitchen, I admit. It’s also not as expensive as you’d think. We get a lot of questions from people asking, “How do you guys eat like you do? You’re college students!”
People forget that you can get a lot more food for your money when you eat at home. These tuna steaks were about $6 each, and they were huge…almost too big. One small cucumber was 20 cents. A carrot about 10 cents. The portions of rice? Maybe 40 cents. Ginger, 10 cents. 25 cents for half an orange. And we’ll overestimate and say it was a dollar for the small amounts of other ingredients.
Total, this meal was $8 a person, and we were stuffed. Try getting full at a sushi restaurant for that cheap and not being sick afterward.
Marinated Tuna Steaks
- 2 yellowfin tuna steaks (Make sure they are sashimi grade so they can be eaten with raw centers.)
- ½ cup soy sauce
- Juice from one small or ½ a large orange
- Fresh ginger, about the size of your thumb
- 1 green onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon of white sugar
- 1 red or green chili
- Black pepper
In a large bowl, pour in soy sauce and orange juice. Peel and grate ginger. Add to marinade along with chopped green onion, minced garlic, chili, sugar and pepper. (Skip the sugar if you use sweetened orange juice.) Let the tuna steaks sit in the marinade while you prepare other parts of the dinner.
You can make white rice, green beans, salad or an Asian coleslaw.
Heat a large skillet on the stovetop with just enough oil to coat the bottom. Depending on the thickness of the tuna and how comfortable you are with raw fish, cook the steaks for 30 seconds to a minute and a half on each side. (Don’t be tempted to pour the remaining marinade over the fish while it cooks. It will burn quickly.)
Transfer to a plate and enjoy with any number of side dishes. I’ve served this before with sautéed Chinese long beans. It is also very good as deconstructed sushi with rice, shredded carrots, julienned cucumbers and add-ons like wasabi and pickled ginger.