This is my first entry using my point and shoot camera. It didn't do too bad a job. I had to re-learn some of the features because it's been about a year since I've used it. Sorry for some blurry shots! With time, I will get better. :)
I am a big fan of The Next Food Network Star on the Food Network. One of the challenges, contestant Lisa had to make a dish with the ingredients received. In her basket there were udon noodles, lemon, beets, cilantro, and chicken. She made what looked like an amazing udon salad.
I kind of recreated that salad tonight using different components and changed out the chicken (which I *ALWAYS* use) with delicious ahi. Ahi is yellowfin tuna. It's firm and meaty which I really like with the lightness of the salad.
I will tell you right now that this dish can be made in 30 minutes. I kid you not. We've been working on the wood flooring in our kitchen this weekend (read: FUN! -- NOT!) but we needed some things from Lowe's before we could move appliances (oven and fridge) back into their places. So I dashed to the store and got home 45 minutes before hubby had to leave for work. He's on nights this weekend. yuck-o! I didn't want to leave him dinner-less, and the tuna needed to be cooked tonight, so I quickly raced into the kitchen and got started so he could take dinner in with him. Here's what I did.
Start with a pack of Udon noodles. They didn't have true udon at the commissary so I went with these. They do say Udon on the package, but they're not as tubular as the original. Cook them according to the directions on the package. When they're done cooking, drain the water off and rinse well with cool water.
Grate a carrot or two.
Chop up one bunch of green onions or scallions. Cut them on the diagonal to make them look pretty. It's all about presentation ladies (and gents)!
Thinly julienne (or slice in sticks) some red bell pepper. I used half of the pepper.
Use about 1 cup snow peas and put in a shallow pan of water. Bring to a boil and let cook for a minute. Drain quickly and then plunge these into some cold water to stop the cooking. This is called blanching.
When the peas are cool, drain again and then cut them in half on the diagonal.
Time for the dressing. This is a soy ginger vinaigrette that was just awesome on this salad.
In a bowl put:
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/8 cup sesame oil
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp gingerroot, minced finely
1 Tbsp garlic, minced finely
2 tsp brown sugar
and some fresh cracked black pepper.
Mix all the ingredients well and set aside.
Put your drained noodles in a large bowl.
Add all of the prepped vegetables and the dressing into the bowl. Toss to coat.
Taste and season with sea salt and more cracked black pepper, if needed.
Take your ahi and sprinkle both sides with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Get your skillet nice and hot over medium heat on the stove.
When it's hot, drizzle a little olive oil into the pan and then quickly put your tuna in. You want the pan hot so it sears the outside. This will leave the inside nice and moist because it locks in the flavor and moisture. Cook for 3 minutes.
Flip with a spatula and cook on the other side for 3 minutes.
To serve, plate some of the udon salad then top with the tuna steak. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and a sprig of cilantro.
This can be served warm or cold. If you want to make this up ahead of time, go right on ahead and do it! If you're feeding a crowd, slice your tuna once it's been cooked. It will go further.