Tuna, green bean and wasabi salad

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

This is a great tuna salad, excellent cooked-and-eaten-at-once so it is still warm for a few people, or served cold for a crowd. I’ve served it cold and in small portions (without the noodles) for a summer dinner-party starter too.

It’s important to keep the tuna rare in the middle, so it’s better to have thick steaks because you cannot really sear thin ones without overcooking the middle. If the fish was large – and the best yellow-fin tuna can be enormous – one thick steak will easily feed two.

Ingredients

  • 200 g green beans
  • 300 g frozen edamame beans
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 40 g vermicelli or thin rice noodles
  • 4 thick tuna steaks (about 150 g each and 1.5 cm/¾ in thick)
  • olive oil for coating
  • salt and pepper to season
  • pickled ginger to serve

For the wasabi dressing

  • 3 Thai shallots or 1 banana shallot, finely sliced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil (preferably toasted)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste

Method

  1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer and add the green beans. Cook for 3–4 minutes, until they have just softened but still have a lovely crunch. Add the edamame beans and, just a minute later, drain. Briefly run the beans under cold water to prevent any further cooking and transfer to a large bowl. Peel, halve and stone the avocado and slice the flesh into wedges, roughly 1–2 cm (½ in) wide. Rinse them under the cold tap to prevent browning, then add to the beans.

  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a small, deep saucepan or a wok over a high heat. The oil should reach at least a third of the way up the pan. In order to test if the oil has reached temperature, drop a single noodle in the pan. If it immediately puffs up and turns white, the oil is ready. Working quickly, before the oil becomes too hot, fry the noodles in small batches. Drain the puffed noodles on kitchen paper and allow them to cool.

  3. Coat the tuna steaks in olive oil and grind black pepper all over them. Heat a non-stick frying pan to very hot and sear the tuna for less than a minute on each side – it needs to be raw in the middle. Immediately the steaks are browned, transfer to a board to cool (leaving them in a pan, even off the heat, will cook the tuna through to an unappetizing grey).

  4. For the dressing, put all the ingredients in a screw-top jar. Shake well.

  5. Using your fingers to avoid breaking the avocado, gently toss the dressing through the greens. Serve the salad on plates, topped with a charred tuna steak and a bundle of fried vermicelli, with pickled ginger on the side. Season lightly with salt.