Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tuna “Tataki” Provencal – The difference between fusion and confusion

“Fusion” cuisine is nothing new. For many years Chefs have been combining aspects from different cuisines to create new and exciting combinations. That Chipolte aioli mayo spread you had on that meatloaf sandwich last week is just one example. When done correctly this “Fusion” cuisine can result in some amazing dishes. Unfortunately, in many cases, these combinations are forced and contrived and just don’t work. When that happens you have what Chefs jokingly call “Confusion” cuisine.

The dish I’m doing today, I hope, is an example of fusion cuisine done right. I’m using a classic Provencal combination of fresh tuna served over a very flavorful Blood Orange Tapenade Citronette. The style I’m using to prepare the tuna is classic Japanese sashimi technique called “Tataki.” This is my favorite way to eat tuna at my local Sushi Bar. They take the freshest tuna possible, give it a quick sear on all sides, slice it thin, and serve it with the traditional sushi garnishes; soy, wasabi, pickled ginger, etc.

I thought this “Tataki” method of cooking would be perfect to use with this delicious tapenade. I was right! It was amazing and incredibly easy. Bye the way, if you are afraid to try sushi (eeewwww, raw fish!) this is a great way to get over your fears. As I say in the clip, this is much closer in taste and texture to a rare piece of beef tenderloin than any fish you’ve had. I hope you can find some fresh tuna and give this a try. Enjoy!

4-5 oz. Sushi or Sashimi grade Ahi tuna
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbl olive oil
serve with our Blood Orange Tapenade Citronette


Blood Red Roses said...

I ate sushi at an upscale place with a very open mind. It was still ucky. :) There's just something about raw flesh...

Scott - Boston said...

For posterity:
Just came across this tiny article about what exactly sushi and sashimi grade fish is.

In short, there is no such thing; it's just marketing.

And we thought we knew everything...

Scott - Boston

Chef John said...