Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Grilled Tuna with Freshly Grated Horseradish Sauce – Giddy-Up, Taste Buds, Giddy-Up!

Whenever I hear people say you shouldn’t ruin fresh fish at the sushi bar by dipping it in copious amounts of wasabi-spiked soy sauce, I think to myself, yeah, but that's how I like it. Sometimes I just don't care about "overpowering the natural flavors," and this grilled yellowfin tuna with freshly grated horseradish sauce recipe is one of those times.

I saw a nice piece of fresh horseradish root on a recent trip to the market, and since I love the combination of salty soy sauce and searing, nasal-clearing wasabi, I decided to try a similar preparation with a couple grilled tuna steaks.

The recipe is very straightforward, and the only piece of special equipment you will need is a microplane-style grater, so you can turn the aromatic radish into a fine, white snow. As is custom, I've listed my best guesses on the ingredient amounts below, but consider everything in this, "to taste." I didn't use citrus, as I went with the tomato slices, but that would surely work too.

By the way, I did a little research (very little), and read that some believe the term "horseradish" comes from the fact that horses were once used to crush the spicy roots under-hoof before being grated. Unless those were some very well-trained (and regular) horses, and they were wearing some kind of sanitary horse slippers, I'm not sure that was such a great method.

If you don't find fresh horseradish, give this a try with finely grated ginger. I can't believe that wouldn't work quite well. Also, as I mentioned in the video, this same condiment would be lovely with all kinds of fresh grilled seafood. Enjoy!

Ingredients (for 2):
2 (8-oz) tuna steaks, lightly oiled
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sambal chili sauce
1-2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish root, plus more as needed
4 sliced sweet cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced green onion to garnish

View the complete recipe


Anonymous said...

I think it's more to do with the shape of the raw radish .

Ahem .

Sembazuru said...

Interesting to note, unless one goes to high-end restaurants, one probably has never had "real" wasabi (Wasabia japonica). See this clip from the Wikipedia web page:

Real wasabi is difficult to cultivate (see below), and that makes it quite expensive: as high as $70 to $100 per pound. Due to its high cost, a common substitute is a mixture of (western) horseradish (which normally costs less than $1/pound wholesale), mustard, and green food coloring. Although the taste is similar they are easily distinguished. In Japan, horseradish is referred to as seiyō wasabi (西洋わさび?, "western wasabi").[5] Outside Japan, "real" wasabi is rare, and colored horseradish-based substitute is normally used instead; in the United States, wasabi is generally found only at specialty grocers and high-end restaurants.[6]

So, add a bit of mustard to horseradish and soy sauce and you may be able to replicate what most of us know as wasabi & soy sauce. (But would probably taste better because it's fresh...)

P.S. Before anyone crucifies me for going to Wikipedia, I've seen similar reports about what is sold as wasabi to the general public all over the internet. So, it's either a well established urban legend, or it's true. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a Snopes article about it.

bdwilcox said...

Rather than soy sauce, I would go with a Ponzu sauce for it's citrus overtones.

Pantalone said...

The Foodinator says,

"Das Horse Radish vill Dominate der Soy Sauce ..."


PS ... and I bet it tastes good!

Anonymous said...

This tastes soo good! I made this earlier and it was delicious

Anonymous said...

On a very unrelated note, I noticed that after accidentally freezing, our cream cheese started separating.

I was wondering: Is it possible to make a type of fresh cheese by separating the curds and the whey from cream cheese?

I'm sorry the bring this up, but I've found nothing on the internet about it.

Chef John said...

sorry, not sure!

Food Junkie said...

Anonymous you don't likely have curds and whey in your cream cheese. It is already a fresh cheese so the whey is likely long separated from the mix. It is likely just water separating out. Because cream cheese has a high content the water separates easily.

Food Junkie said...

It is wonderful to see a recipe with horseradish and not the bland over processed stuff usually available in the store. I would assume your sauce has a blow the sinuses out of your head kick if one takes too much at a time?

Anonymous said...

I had some Sake Don with the raw fish. It was delicious. The raw salmon is buttery in texture. Mmmmmm!

Anonymous said...

Love the "sanitary horse slippers"! Thanks for the laugh..

ps. How spicy can you get chef?

Tim Haines said...

Where's the sustainability at Chef Jon? Tuna, come on.

Daniel Bottoms said...

I did this today for wild-sea-lachs steaks (all we had), but used "sweet dark soja" and "extra hot" horseradish from a tube (they sell it here like mustard in like tooth-paste tubes). My wife absolutely went nuts for it. Added like a t-spoon of lemon juice to counter the sweet soja too... worked great.

btw if you take that root and plant it and water it like a flower, it'll grow and "heal" and you'll have "fresh" horseradish as long as it's warm outside (or in a pot in your kitchen). my wife's grandma did that for years.
Greets from Vienna, Austria!

Rita said...

omg! you don't know how much i'm drooling over that tuna right now.

quick question - how do you store horseradish and what is the shelf life? (or in this case, fridge life?)

Chef John said...

Tim, according to my fish purchasing guide from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the yellowfin tuna I used was perfectly acceptable, and considered a good choice. Also, the market i used only sells sustainable options. Are you thinking canned tuna? Maybe get the facts before you chastise me.

bdwilcox said...

It's OK, Chef John. Seems Tim lacks porpoise in life.

Johan said...

Looks amazing! Tuna is a always best on the grill!

/Johan (Sweden)

Steve said...


According to Alton Brown,

A member of the cabbage family and kin to mustards, turnips, and other radishes, horseradish gets its name via mispronunciation. You see, in German it's called Meerrettich, or sea radish. The English came along, and they didn't read German any better than I speak it. So they just saw the "meer" and and thought "female horse," so they called it horseradish. Although roots 20 inches and longer are not rare, you won't need anything as horsey for this.


No equine diapers or footwear required.

Trivia: although Mr Brown did a oyster show, he is never seen eating oyster in the program: he's allergic.

dermats said...

here is a little trick for those of you who get too much horseradish. all you have to do is take a smell at fresh white bread. voila, immediately soothing. sounds weird, but i swear it works.