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Rosh Hashana

Tu B'Shevat

Side Dishes
Pan-Seared Tuna With Asian Coleslaw

pan seared tuna with asian coleslawNutritionists recommend that we eat fatty fish like tuna twice a week, and this is an easy fish dinner to whip up for yourself. The coleslaw recipe makes enough for two servings, but since it holds so well, it’s worth making the extra and eating it again the next day.

For the coleslaw:

2 cups shredded cabbage — white, red or Napa

1/4 red bell pepper, cut crosswise in thin slivers

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or mint

1/4 teaspoon minced fresh serrano or jalapeño chile (optional)

1 to 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, to taste

1/4 teaspoon sugar (omit if using seasoned rice wine vinegar)

Salt or soy sauce to taste

2 tablespoons canola oil, or 1 tablespoon each canola oil and buttermilk or plain low-fat yogurt

For the fish:

1 6-ounce tuna steak

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1/8 teaspoon sugar (omit if using seasoned rice wine vinegar)

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon canola oil

1. Place the cabbage in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for 15 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Drain and toss with the red pepper, cilantro or mint, and chile in a medium-size bowl.

2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the remaining ingredients for the coleslaw — the rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt or soy sauce, and canola oil (or canola oil and buttermilk or yogurt). Toss with the cabbage mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes or longer.

3. Rinse the tuna steak and pat dry. Whisk together the marinade for the fish: the lime juice, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and cayenne. Place the tuna in a re-sealable bag, and add the sauce. Seal the bag, and marinate for 15 to 30 minutes. Refrigerate if marinating for longer than 30 minutes.

4. Heat a small or medium heavy cast iron or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 teaspoon canola oil and the tuna steak. Sear for three to five minutes, depending on how cooked you like your fish. Turn the fish over, pour on the marinade and sear for another three to five minutes. Remove from the heat. Place a serving of the coleslaw on a plate, and place the tuna next to it or overlapping it.

Yield: Serves one.

Advance preparation: The coleslaw will hold for three or four days in the refrigerator.

Martha Rose Shulman can be reached at

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