Seared tuna on nori sauce with green papaya, mango, jicama & fresh coconut salad & wasabi tobikko

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Preparation info

  • For


    although yo’ll have a lot of salad garnish left over
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey


By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

Tuna is one of the loveliest tasting fish, rich, slightly oily, firm and robust. Its flesh is more meaty than most others, and it must be the most popular of all sushi fish. However, it’s also very susceptible to bad fishing practices. Make sure you only ever buy (from a shop or a restaurant) sustainable tuna. This will mean it has been caught from areas where tuna depletion isn’t a risk, and that it has been caught in ways that are not a threat to other marine life (from dolphins through to bird-life) and where it hasn’t been trawled out of the ocean in massive nets, killing other species indiscriminately. Once you’ve got your tuna sorted you can make this fabulous dish! The nori sauce is a creation of Satoshi Kikuchi, a chef who cooked at my restaurant in New Zealand for several years, and who also taught us how to make the best tempura batter and sushi rice ever. The dish itself came about when I was asked to create a tapas-style menu for a Providores customer’s son’s bar mitzvah in London. If you can’t source jicama, green mango, green papaya or fresh coconut, then simply use only one of these, or replace them with a combination of celeriac, kohlrabi, nashi pear or carrot.


  • 500 g tuna loin
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) sesame oil
  • 6 sheets nori
  • 80 ml mirin
  • 80 ml sake
  • 60 ml (4 Tbsp) soy sauce
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 green papaya
  • 1 jicama (yam bean)
  • 1 green mango
  • 1 coconut
  • 6 sprigs of coriander
  • 1 Tbsp wasabi tobikko (optional - or use any other fish roe mixed with a little wasabi paste)
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 limes, quartered


Depending on the shape of the tuna, cut it into 5-cm x 3-cm batons (approximately). Rub with the sesame oil then sear in a hot pan on all sides, one minute in total. Immediately wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and plunge into a bowl of iced water. Place covered in the fridge for up to two days.

Toast four of the nori sheets over a medium open flame or a very hot electrical element until it goes dark green. Crumble the toasted nori into a bowl along with the untoasted sheets. Bring the mirin, sake, soy and balsamic vinegar to a simmer in a medium-sized pan, then stir in the nori and cook for 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Blitz into a paste with a stick blender and leave to cool.

Peel the papaya, jicama and mango, then julienne enough of each of them to give you a good handful.

Crack open the coconut and coarsely grate enough to give you a very small handful and add to the julienne.

Pick the leaves from the coriander, then cut the stalks into 1-cm long pieces and add both to the salad ingredients.

Cut the tuna in half lengthways then cut into slices 5 mm thick.

To Serve

Dollop the nori sauce onto your plates along with a mound of green papaya salad next to it. Lay the sliced tuna on the sauce, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, spoon on the wasabi tobikko and drizzle with the olive oil. Serve with a lime wedge.