html xmlns:og='' xmlns:expr=''> Lounging at the Waldorf: Sesame Tuna Salad


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sesame Tuna Salad

Exactly one thousand years ago, I was a waitress at a popular, Japanese-Californian fusion restaurant in the Bay Area called O Chamé. They were admired for their big, steaming bowls of noodles in fish broth, eel and endive salad, and savory watercress pancakes. I got to know and love the food but as I was front of the house staff, I wasn’t taught how to cook any of it.

Still, I found myself inspired.  I'd poked around San Francisco’s Japan Town in my free time, wandering the aisles of Sakai Supermarket.  I'd come home with my own bottles of salted plum paste and packages of dried tofu skins with only vague inkling of what to do with any of the items.

Sure, I could have used the Japanese cookbook that I'd purchased, but that would have taken focus, a wok, knowledge of various types of fish, and a commitment to using precise measurements.

Give me a break, I was 23.  Instead, my lazy ass cracked open a can of tuna.  And whaddya know, it worked.

The result was a crunchy, light tuna salad that has rich tones of sesame oil, the pop of pickled ginger, and a little heat courtesy of the Japanese spice blend shichimi.  Triumph was mine!

And now, it's yours, too.  Enjoy!

Sesame Tuna Salad

4 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon pickled ginger, finely chopped*
½ teaspoon shichimi* or ¼ teaspoon of chili powder
10 ounces (two cans) albacore tuna
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
¼ cup carrots, finely diced
Salt to taste 

Combine oil, vinegar, pickled ginger, and shichimi. Mix well. Blend in tuna, sesame seeds, carrots, and salt. Serve with crackers, on toast, or on a bed of lettuce.

*Available at Asian markets

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