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Seared Tuna with Spinach and Root Vegetables

Chef Way Takashi Yagihashi roasts hamachi (yellowtail) until crisp, then combines it with buttery root vegetables, spinach and a lush sauce of mirin, soy sauce, butter and Szechuan peppercorns.

Healthier Way To simplify the recipe, skip the hamachi in favor of easy-to-find tuna and cook it in a touch of oil. Don't make the sauce; instead, use the key ingredients to flavor the root vegetables.

slideshow  More Fast Asian Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium parsnip, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • Pinch of ground Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 pound tuna steak (about 1 1/4 inches thick)
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • One 5-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the carrot, parsnip and onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the water and butter, season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mirin, soy sauce and Szechuan peppercorns and keep warm.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil until nearly smoking. Season the tuna with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned on the outside but still pink in the center, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board.
  3. Add the garlic and spinach to the skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, just until wilted. Mound the spinach on plates. Thinly slice the tuna and arrange over the spinach. Spoon the root vegetables and any juices on top, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Fresh, berry-inflected rosé from Napa Valley.

Contributed By Photo © Lucy Schaeffer Published March 2009

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