Saturday, 7 March 2015

Recipe corner: Tuna steak baguette with Asian slaw

I think it is both a good thing and a bad that I have no particular expertise in any one cuisine (unless cheese on toast can be said to be a cuisine - in which case I am basically the love child of Ken Hom and Madhur Jaffrey.)  It means that I can't tell authentic from inauthentic which is a shame, and I put things together without due regard for tradition which would have matrons the world over wagging their fingers expressively.  But, equally, I am generally guided by what I think tastes good and unrestricted by a food's particular heritage. Which means that my cooking may be confused, but a lot of the time it is pretty yummy.

Take this dish.  At the outset it was just to be a steak sandwich, with all the traditional accompaniments, except the steak in question was to be tuna.  And then somehow it veered over to Asia with delicious results. The idea of using baguette was very much inspired by the Vietnamese banh mi, a wonderful collision of French and Asian traditions, and the crunchy side slaw was a perfect accompaniment - zingy, crunchy and jam packed with wonderful flavour.  This is definitely one to add to the dinner rotation list.


For the baguettes:
2 pieces of baguette, split lengthways
2 tuna steaks
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp wasabi

For the slaw:
Quarter of white cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, grated
Half a bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
Red chilli, deseeded and sliced
Handful chopped coriander
Handful chopped mint leaves
Handful chopped Thai basil leaves
2 tsp soft brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the chopped veg (reserving the green parts of the spring onions), chilli and herbs.

In a separate bowl prepare the dressing, and reserve until required.  Whisk the sugar into the vinegar until complete dissolved and then add the other ingredients.  Check and adjust seasoning as required - remember, the fish sauce is very salty so you shouldn't need to add much by way of salt.

Bring a non stick frying pan up to a high heat.  Season the fish and then cook for around 90 seconds on each side.  Remove from the heat and allow to rest for a couple of minutes before slicing on the bias,

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise and wasabi, season to taste, adding a touch of lemon juice if it looks too thick, and then slather over one side of the baguettes.  Arrange the tuna on top and scatter with the chopped greens of the spring onions before bringing together in one messy, juicy sandwich.

Dress the slaw and serve on the side.


  1. Mmmm, that sounds gorgeous. Haven't had tuna steaks for ages. Good plan!

    Lesley xx

  2. Looks awesome! I make Asian slaw a lot, particularly useful when I'm on a diet roll and leave out the oil - and adding wasabi to mayo is genius!