Summer is the ideal time to enjoy chilled seafood and cold beer. Tuna has been one of my favourite seafoods this season, especially when combined with a citrus-flavoured, soy-based ponzu sauce. Add some kombu seaweed and finish with intensely flavoured bonito shavings for the perfect partner to a rich sashimi tuna.
I have been making chicken escabeche for a while now and thought, what else could I put in this flavoursome dressing? When I saw the incredible prawns at the market my mind was made up – all I had to do was change the cooking time from my original recipe and buy some soft brioche buns.
Tuna sashimi with avocado and ponzu dressing
1 piece of kombu
1 cup light soy sauce
½ cup mirin
½ cup sake
1 tsp sugar
½ cup bonito flakes
½ cup lemon juice
4 ripe avocados
1 tsp sesame oil
2 spring onions, finely sliced
½ tsp wasabi
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
400g sashimi grade yellowfin tuna
2 sheets nori
Place the kombu, soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and add the bonito flakes. When slightly cooled add the lemon juice and let sit for one hour. Pass through a fine sieve and keep in the fridge until needed.
Mash two of the avocados with the sesame oil, sliced spring onions and wasabi, season with a little salt as the ponzu sauce will add salt when the dish is complete.
Dice the tuna and remaining avocados into 2cm pieces.
Toast the nori sheets over a flame until they crisp up a little. Spread the avocado puree over a serving plate then place pieces of tuna and avocado randomly around the plate. Sprinkle sesame seeds over everything, drizzle some of the ponzu sauce and finish with the torn nori sheet. Serve immediately.
Prawn escabeche rolls
1 red onion
60ml extra virgin olive oil
4 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
Pinch saffron threads
1 carrot, julienned
200ml white wine vinegar
200ml white wine
Cracked black pepper
1 tsp salt
500g large green prawns, peeled
1 handful basil leaves, chopped
8 brioche rolls
1 bunch watercress, washed
Cut onion into 5-millimetre thick wedges. Heat olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add onion, bay leaves, garlic and saffron. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Do not allow onion to brown.
Add carrot, cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes or until the carrot begins to soften. Add wine vinegar, wine, peppercorns, 200ml water and salt. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peeled prawns and simmer for two minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain prawns and vegetables into a bowl, discard bay leaves. Slice the prawns in half lengthways. Add aioli, basil and half the cooking vegetables. Mix well and check the seasoning. Cut the buns open and spoon in a generous serve of prawn mix, squeeze in some watercress and serve.
If you buy prawns in the shell, keep the shells in the freezer to make a stock with later.