Monday, March 9, 2009

The department of mycological affairs: Seared tuna with multi-mushroom ragout


The other weekend, we were lucky enough to wrangle a brunch invite from the Lovely A and her man B (huevos con migos cooked up by real live Texans? HELL YES!), and Bench and I were tasked with bringing along some fruit. So, we popped into one of my favorite stores ever, Union Market, to peruse their produce section. En route to picking out the fruit, my eye was caught by the mushroom bar.


Oh man, oh mercy.

They had mushrooms i'd never even SEEN before! Black trumpets! Hedgehog mushrooms! Mini chanterelles! They also had some of the most beautiful oyster mushrooms I'd ever encountered. Needless to say, I stopped in front of that display like I'd walked into a wall of glass. Bench, recognizing the symptoms, just handed me a bag, and with the acquisition of a gorgeous (if GIGANTOR) piece of yellowfin tuna, the evening meal was planned: Seared tuna with multi-mushroom-miso ragout.

I decided that miso was going to be a central flavor in this meal, and so I marinated the tuna in a slurry of red miso, rice vinegar, and sesame oil; the mushrooms were sauteed slow and low with miso, sake, garlic, and honey (low and slow is pretty much my watchword for mushrooms these days), resulting in a tangy, complex, meaty ragout. The tuna was cooked fast and high in my cast iron skillet, its simple seasoning an excellent match for the robust mushroom sauce.


Basically, this was a nice, quick weeknight meal elevated to gourmet ridiculousness with the application of a few specialty mushrooms; it will taste just as lovely with whatever mushrooms you happen to find at your local. This dish is not elitist! This dish does not judge!

Seared tuna with mushroom sauce

1lb nice tuna steak, cut into four portions

1lb mushrooms, sliced (any combination your heart desires! I used black trumpet, hedgehog, shiitake and oyster, but crimini, portobello, button white, or any other combination will work)
2 tsp red miso, divided
1/3c sake
1/4c seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil, divided
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp honey
2 cloves garlic, sliced
  1. Make your marinade: combine 1/2 tsp sesame oil, the rice vinegar, and 1 tsp miso in a zip top bag. Mix it thoroughly, add the fish and then refrigerate for up to one hour.
  2. Meanwhile, make your sauce: over medium-low heat, saute the garlic until it's just aromatic. Add the mushrooms; stir until they've released their liquid.
  3. Add the miso and the honey. Continue to saute until the mushrooms have re-absorbed their liquid.
  4. Add the sake and stir until the sauce starts to thicken slightly. Reduce heat to low.
  5. In a well-seasoned skillet, heat the remaining sesame oil with the olive oil over high heat. Remove the fish from the marinade and pat dry.
  6. When the oil just starts to smoke, plop your fish down in it and cook for 3-5 minutes a side (turning once) until it reaches your favorite level of doneness. I like mine still flopping around, so I tend to find myself closer to the three-minute end of the spectrum.


maggie said...

I think you may have a way with miso, my dear.

Gorgeous stuff. Welcome home!

Lo said...

SO jealous of that mushroom bar! Sounds like my kind of place.

Am loving the flavors here. For some reason, I've never combined shrooms with tuna -- but it looks downright drool-worthy.

Phoo-D said...

I share your love for mushrooms and miso. This looks incredible!

Anonymous said...

Love seared tuna (I make a wonderful recipe with avocados from Ina), and love mushrooms...but have never considered them together. Thank you!

Laura Lutz said...

Dang! Would you believe I've never cooked with miso before? But you've given me hope and courage - I'm soooo trying this one! You had me at "tuna".

Lisa said...

oh my goodness. I would never even think of pairing mushrooms with fish but this looks delicious. Especially with the miso

I am also a fan of Union Market's mushrooms.

Megan said...

Looks delicious! Love the flavor combos here - miso/mushroom/seared tuna - yum.

cook eat FRET said...

perfect. healthy. easy.

i love the miso mushroom idea. i am a huge and devoted fan of great mushrooms - but the little white button cremini? not so much...

i am a mushroom snob
yes i am

Adi said...
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