2000s Recipes + Menus

Grilled Tuna and Watercress Salad with Asian Flavors

Serves4 (main course)
  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:50 min
June 2009
Searing the tuna well on the outside but leaving it rare on the inside gives you a lovely contrast between the two textures. That said, if you like your tuna cooked through, the salad will still be delicious.
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons white peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (1-lb) sushi-grade tuna steak (about 2 inches thick)
  • 1 lb jicama, peeled
  • 2 bunches watercress (10 oz), tough stems discarded
  • 2 scallions, very thinly sliced
  • Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over hot charcoal (high heat for gas); see “Grilling Procedure.”
  • Whisk together olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger.
  • Combine coriander seeds, white peppercorns, and kosher salt in a small bowl.
  • Rub vegetable oil all over tuna, then coat with spice mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere.
  • Oil grill rack, then grill tuna, covered only if using a gas grill, turning onto all sides, until seared on all sides but still very rare inside, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer tuna to a cutting board and cut across the grain into 8 slices.
  • Julienne jicama using an adjustable-blade slicer fitted with 1/8-inch julienne attachment or using a knife.
  • Toss watercress and jicama with enough dressing to coat, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve tuna over salad, sprinkled with scallions. Serve remaining dressing on the side.
Cooks’ notes:
  • The tuna in this recipe will not be fully cooked.
  • Tuna can be cooked in a lightly oiled hot grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Tuna can be grilled 1 day ahead and chilled (covered once cool).
  • We also have a Web-exclusive recipe using the leftover coriander seeds.
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