I'm always surprised by the recipes I make from Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I had incredibly good results with his seared tuna with peppercorns, and so I decided to give his rice cracker-crusted tuna with spicy citrus sauce a try.
As he admits in the intro, "searing tuna isn't the only way to get a crisp exterior and rare center on this delicious fish." His alternative is to fry the suckers. And though I never thought I'd be the guy to advocate frying tuna, I have to admit, it works.
First off, it cooks uniformly, so that you don't have to worry about flipping or making sure each side cooks evenly. Plus the rice cracker coating provides this perfect delicate crunch to each bite. The only tricky part with this recipe is the timing. These pieces of tuna need to be cooked for exactly 30 seconds. If you leave it in for any longer, the tuna will overcook, leaving you with a dry, crumbly dish instead of a luscious, succulent one. Set those timers!
- 2 tablespoons bonito flakes
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup canola oil, plus more for frying
- 3 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- One 12-ounce piece tuna, cut into four 4 x 1 ½-inch pieces
- Seven 4-inch rice crackers, ground to small crumbs
- 2 scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced
Place bonito flakes in medium-sized bowl and cover with three tablespoons of hot water. Set aside for ten minutes. Strain through a sieve, pressing excess moisture out of the bonito flakes. Discard flakes, and transfer liquid to a blender.
Add egg yolk, lime juice, orange juice, sriracha, and salt to blender. Process until smooth. With motor running, slowly drizzle in ½ cup oil. Pour into bowl, add scallions, and set aside.
Pour enough canola oil to come three inches up the side of a medium-sized saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to 400°F.
Whisk together egg whites and cornstarch in a bowl. Sprinkle ground rice crackers on small plate. Dip each tuna piece in cornstarch mixture, and then dredge in rice crackers.
Carefully cook each piece of tuna in oil for 30 seconds, about two at a time. Drain on paper towels. Slice tuna crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Serve tuna with sauce.