Seared Peppered Fish Steaks with Crispy Slaw and Soy Vinaigrette

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

This East-meets-West recipe is from Allen Wong, a Japan-born chef with a Chinese-Hawaiian father and a Japanese mother. Chef Wong is now at the Mauna Lani Hotel on the big island of Hawaii. This is a good basic method by which you can cook several types of fish steaks: ahi tuna, swordfish, or halibut. Wonton wrappers are sold in many supermarkets in the specialty produce section. When fried, they add a nice crisp touch. If they are not available, simply omit them.


Crispy Slaw

  • 1 cup finely shredded Napa cabbage
  • ½ cup matchstick-size strips snow peas
  • ½ cup matchstick-size strips carrot
  • 4 tuna, swordfish, or halibut steaks, ½ inch thick (about 6 ounces each)
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons matchstick-size strips fresh ginger
  • 2 wonton wrappers, cut into matchstick-size strips
  • Soy Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 12 thin tomato wedges
  • Radish sprouts or watercress, for garnish


    1. Combine the cabbage, snow peas, and carrot and toss to blend. Sprinkle both sides of the fish with the pepper. Cut each fish steak into 3 or 4 evenly sized pieces. Cover vegetables and fish separately and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.
    2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small skillet over medium heat, add the ginger, and fry until golden, under 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel to drain. Add the wonton strips and fry until crisp and golden, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel. Discard the oil.
    3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot. Add tuna and cook until browned and juicy and pale pink in the center, about 3 minutes. Other fish should be cooked through, about 2½ minutes per side. Transfer the fish to 4 dinner plates.
    4. Toss half the vinaigrette with the crispy slaw and divide among the 4 plates. Sprinkle the ginger and wonton strips over the slaw. Spoon the remaining vinaigrette over the fish, dividing evenly. Garnish each plate with tomato wedges and radish sprouts.