- 450 g (14 cm-long piece) sashimi-grade yellow-fin tuna
- 60 ml (¼ cup) Japanese soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
- fried garlic chips, chilli, yuzu zest (see Note), chopped pickled jalapeños, black sesame seeds, salmon roe, light soy, wasabi, lemon zest, coriander leaf and finely shredded ginger, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need a very sharp large knife and a kitchen blowtorch; alternatively, place tuna under a hot grill.
Chilling time 3 hours
To prepare tuna, place it on a chopping board. Wipe tuna with a clean damp tea towel. Using a very sharp large knife, trim edges, cutting the tuna in a single motion, drawing the knife back towards you smoothly. Holding the tuna with one hand, cut into 5 blocks, again using a single slicing action; do not saw the fish. Using fish tweezers (available from chef’s shops, homeware shops and fish markets), remove the bloodline from each block of tuna.
Place 1 tuna block on a plate, cover with a clean damp tea towel and refrigerate until ready to plate the raw version. (If it’s warm, refrigerate the 4 tuna blocks and remove from the fridge as required.)
To make soy-cured tuna, combine soy and mirin in a small bowl. Using a very sharp large knife, cut 1 tuna block into 4 even cubes using a single slicing action starting from the heel of the knife, down to the point, drawing the knife towards you. Immerse in soy mixture for 5 minutes or until flesh becomes darkened from the soy. Drain. Place on a plate, cover with a clean damp tea towel and refrigerate for up to 3 hours until needed.
To make blow-torched tuna, place another tuna block on a wire rack set over an oven tray. Using a blowtorch, cook each side of tuna until flesh just starts to char. Immediately refresh in iced water. Place on a plate, cover with a clean damp tea towel and refrigerate for up to 3 hours until needed.
To make tuna blanched in oil, fill a saucepan one-third full with oil and heat over medium heat to 180°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Insert 2 skewers through centre of 1 tuna block to hold its shape, and immerse in oil for 20 seconds or until flesh turns light golden. Immediately refresh in iced water. Remove skewers, place on a plate, cover with a clean damp tea towel and refrigerate for up to 3 hours until needed.
To make tuna blanched in water, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Immerse tuna for 3 seconds or until flesh just turns evenly opaque, then drain and refresh in iced water. Place on a plate, cover with a clean damp tea towel and refrigerate for up to 3 hours until needed.
When ready to serve, cut the raw, blow-torched, blanched and fried tuna into 4 even cubes. Arrange on a plate with soy-cured tuna. Spoon a little extra virgin olive oil over each piece of tuna, then garnish soy-cured tuna with fried garlic chips and red chilli; raw tuna with yuzu zest and chopped pickled jalapeños; blow-torched tuna with black sesame seeds and salmon roe; blanched tuna with a little light soy, wasabi and lemon zest; and fried tuna with a coriander leaf and finely shredded ginger. Serve immediately.
• From selected Japanese food shops.
Photography by Jason Loucas.