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Spice Crusted Tuna on Cucumber Salad with Wasabi Vinaigrette

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Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Servings 1

Spice Crusted Tuna on Cucumber Salad with Wasabi Vinaigrette by Chef Ben Smith



  • 1/2 cup wasabi powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peanut oil
  • 4 tablespoons whole coriander
  • 1 tablespoon whole mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons Szechwan peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seed
  • 4 cucumbers, peeled
  • 8 tuna steaks, 6-8 ounces each
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Olive oil  


For the vinaigrette:

Stir together the wasabi powder and water to make a smooth paste. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt and whisk until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the peanut oil while whisking.

For the spice crust:

Place the whole spices in a dry sauté pan individually and heat them over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until slightly toasted. Set aside to cool. Grind the whole spices using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle until fine. Mix together with the remaining spices until well blended.

Using a mandolin, slice the cucumbers lengthwise into paper thin ribbons, turning the cucumber a quarter turn when you reach the seeds.

Season the tuna steaks with kosher salt, then dredge them on one side in the spice crust. Preheat a heavy sauté pan over medium high heat. Add enough olive oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Carefully place the tuna, spice side down, in the hot pan. Cook until the spice crust is aromatic and nicely toasted then turn the tuna over. Cook to desired doneness, but rarer is better!

Place the cucumber ribbons in a medium sized bowl. Add about half of the vinaigrette and toss until well coated, adding more vinaigrette if needed. Portion the cucumber salad equally among 4 plates, place a tuna steak on top and drizzle the plate with the remaining vinaigrette.

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