Asian Tuna Salad Marinade Recipe

We use this marinade on our fresh pole-caught Albacore Tuna Loins that we use in all of our restaurants here at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. Once the marinade is prepared, the key is in properly cooking/steaming the Tuna Loin.

The trick is to cook the tuna to 135 degrees in the center so that the meat is still a bit raw & that the “carry over” cooking will give you a loin that is flaky and moist. Nobody likes a dry Tuna Salad.

You can also grill the Tuna to medium and then flake the meat to mix with the marinade. For this recipe, we will solely be steaming albacore.

Ingredients & Directions

Marinade Recipe

Makes 5-6 Cups

PART I

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. diced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. diced shallots
  • ¼ cup chopped pickled ginger, with liquid
  • ¼ cup Kikkoman Mirin Soup Mix
  1. Heat a Sauce Pan to medium and add the olive oil & garlic and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Do not heat the pan too much or the garlic/shallots will burn.
  2. After the garlic & shallots have simmered to translucence, turn up the heat & add the brown sugar.
  3. As the heat rises, consistently stir to caramelize the mix. As the mix begins to turn light brown, add the pickled ginger & liquid. Turn down the heat to M-H and simmer until reduced by 50%.
  4. If you like things spicy, you can always add Vietnamese Garlic-Chili Paste to this.

PART II

  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sweet sake mirin wine (This is different from the Mirin Soup Mix)
  • ¼ cup Kikkoman Lime Ponzu sauce
  • Pinch of Ground coriander, cumin & allspice
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame seed oil
  • 1 Tbsp. black & white sesame seeds
  1. Once you are finished with Part I, pour it into a stainless Steel Bowl to cool down.
  2. Once it has cooled down at least by half, then you can add all of the ingredients in Part II into Part I and mix well. Place the SS Bowl in a sink of ice cube, cold water and occasionally stir to cool down. Once cooled down to 50 or below, cover and hold in refrigerator.
  3. Since this mix has oils in it, it will separate, but that is normal. The oils are there to add flavor and moisture to the steamed tuna and you will need to whip up the mix before you use it anyway.

PART III

  • 4 ea. Albacore loins, quartered, no skin (basically, one fish)
  • 1 cup white wine, anything will do
  • 1 cup water
  • Kosher Salt, fresh black pepper
  • 1-2 cups finished marinade
  • Aluminum foil
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350.
  2. Once the Tuna Loins are cleaned up, lay them in a roasting pan large enough to have the fillets lay flat.
  3. Pour in the Wine & Water & season the Tuna with some Kosher Salt & Fresh Black Pepper.
  4. Cook the Tuna Loins for 15-20 minutes depending on how large they are. Remove from the oven & DO NOT take off the aluminum foil. The foil will ensure that the fillets gently continue to cook for another 15 minutes.
  5. Next, remove the foil and then flake the Tuna Loins into large pieces while the fish is still warm. Pour the marinade over the fish & gently work it in so you don’t turn the fish to fine, “mush.” You want to have large, visible chunks of tuna for all applications.
  6. I will use this seasoned Albacore in a Salad presentation as well as a Lettuce Wrap.
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