This is neither sushi nor poke, but is inspired by both of those wonderful things, as well as the addictive interplay of textures that I so love about Japanese food. I have used persimmon for the salsa, both because it is a sadly underrated fruit and because its mellow crunch works perfectly with other Japanese flavours.
Indeed, the persimmon holds a rather special place in Japanese culture so although it’s pairing with tuna may seem unorthodox, I think this works well. You want the Fuyu persimmon or ‘Sharon fruit’ here – the one that resembles a squat, bright orange tomato – rather than the more bulbous Hachiya persimmon. Luckily, the former is far more common in our shops anyway. You can also use mango or papaya, depending on the season.
Please don’t hate me or be put off by the long list of ingredients: every step is very simple and mostly involves mixing things together in bowls, and you can make the sesame cream and salsa in advance (just be sure to bring them to room temperature before serving). Feel free to omit some of the elements, though – the tuna, rice and salsa on their own will be just lovely. Vegetarians can substitute the tuna for some pan-fried tofu.
For the persimmon salsa
2 ripe Fuyu persimmons (often called Sharon fruit), stalks removed, flesh cut into 1cm dice
1 red chili or jalapeño chili, deseeded and finely chopped
3cm piece of ginger root, grated
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon golden caster sugar
juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 spring onion, very finely chopped
1 ripe avocado, stoned and flesh cut into 1cm dice
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
For the rice
250g brown sushi rice
3 tablespoons rice vinegar, plus extra to taste if necessary
1 teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste if necessary
2 teaspoons sugar, plus extra to taste if necessary
For the sesame cream
I Know It Is Alot Of Ingrudients
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons rice vinegar, plus extra to taste if necessary
½ tablespoon dark soy sauce, plus extra to taste if necessary
2 teaspoons golden caster sugar, plus extra to taste if necessary
1 teaspoon sesame oil
One teaspoon mirin
Cup teaspoon sake
1 tablespoon yuzu juice or lime juice
For the dressed carrots
A carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
a pinch of caster sugar
For the tuna
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
2 tuna steaks
1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
150g cooked edamame beans
dried yuzu powder (optional)
For the salsa, mix all the ingredients except the avocado and coriander in a medium bowl, and set aside for 30 minutes while you prepare everything else, stirring occasionally.
Place the rice in a medium saucepan with a lid. Rinse it a couple of times with cold water, then drain, return it to the pan and add 400ml of water. Bring the water to the boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat down to its lowest setting, cover the pan with the lid, and cook the rice for 25 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and leave the rice, without lifting the lid of the pan, for another 10 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all the water. (If there is any left in the pan, drain it off.) Fluff up the rice with a fork and stir in the vinegar, salt, and sugar. Taste and check the seasoning – you may want a little more vinegar, salt, or sugar.
While the rice cooks, whisk together all the ingredients for the sesame cream in a small jug with 2 tablespoons of water. Taste and adjust – you may want a little more vinegar, soy, or sugar. Set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressed carrots. Put the carrot matchsticks into a small bowl and toss with the lime juice, rice vinegar and sugar. Set aside to macerate, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the remaining elements.
Add the avocado and coriander to the persimmon salsa and stir well.
We Hope You Find It Delicious
Prepare the tuna. Put both types of sesame seeds on a small plate and shake to spread them out evenly. Press the tuna steaks onto the seeds, first one side then the other, to coat them in the sesame.
Heat the rapeseed or olive oil in a frying pan over high heat, then sear the tuna for about 3 minutes on each side (timings will depend on the thickness of your steaks, but you should be able to see them cooking from the side, which will help you to judge when they are cooked through).
I like my tuna slightly rare but cook for longer if you prefer it well done. Alternatively, you can use a meat thermometer, which should show 60°C. Remove the tuna from the pan and place it on a chopping board to rest while you assemble everything else.
Divide the rice between two bowls, then top with a couple of spoonfuls of persimmon salsa, the dressed carrots, and the edamame beans. Slice the tuna steaks into thick strips and lay the strips across the top, then drizzle everything with a generous amount of sesame cream. Serve immediately, with a sprinkling of yuzu powder (if using) and lime wedges to squeeze over.