It is avocado season in Trinidad and Tobago and I have been experimenting with ways to enjoy my garden’s bounty. Tuna and avocado make a particularly delightful pairing thanks to the variation in flavour and texture. This quick and easy recipe makes a delicious lunch or light supper for four people.
The avocado should be firm and just ripe. Refrigerate the avocado for at least 2 hours before starting.
The recipe is based on locally sourced ingredients. However international chefs can happily make the following substitutions without changing the nature of the dish.
1 small jalapeno (seeded and finely diced) for Trinidad hot pepper
Cilantro for shadon beni
Fresh oregano for parsley
Yield – 4 servings
4 5-6 oz sushi grade tuna steaks ¾ inch thick
6 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 large avocado peeled, pitted and diced
2 teaspoons diced Trinidad hot pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh shadon beni
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley
1 – 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
First, make the avocado tartare. Mix the avocado, hot pepper, shadon beni, onion, parsley, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a bowl. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Cover and place in the refrigerator. The tartare must be well chilled.
Next, prepare the tuna. Stir the sesame seeds in a large heavy skillet over high heat until the seeds are a pale golden colour, about 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a large plate.
Sprinkle the fish with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dip the fish into the seeds, coating on all sides and pressing the fish so that seeds adhere. Return the same skillet to high heat. Brush the skillet with the remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Add the fish to skillet and sear until the coating is deep brown on the outside and still opaque in the center, about 1½ minutes per side. If you prefer your tuna more well done, you can cook for up to 2 minutes each side. Transfer fish steaks to work surface and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Thinly slice each steak and arrange the fish, slices overlapping on plates. Add a quarter of the avocado tartare to each plate. Garnish with lettuce leaves if desired.