The tuna counts are still running strong and, despite the dropping temps, the reports are still on fire. While other parts of the country are already ice-cold rolling into November, we benefit from the extended stays of most all pelagics… jumbo tuna included. This is an epic time of year, with the south swells switching to northwest, warm water sticking around, and clean conditions prevailing all day long. Lobster season has opened, so we have yet another avenue open this time a year, but I digress (and will save that for another day/recipe). For now, we will stick to the pelagic bite, and this week we’ll do a tuna recipe. The difference this time is we’ll match the weather change with a warmer (but still light) recipe to kick off Fall in our hometown.
Since the last tuna recipe was a straight raw preparation, and tuna this fresh really shouldn’t be cooked all the way through (unless it’s a personal preference), “seared” is a happy-medium between the two that I’m going to run with. The key to getting a nice crust on the outside with a rare center is a hot pan and oil/butter/both to prevent sticking. The warm, seasoned jasmine rice and roasted broccolini compliment the fish, but what really ties it all together is the sauteed mushrooms. I know a lot of people don’t like the more common mushrooms (i.e., white, crimini, etc.) and I don’t blame them; they can be chalky and unappealing. But living in Hawaii years back, I found some other kinds that changed my mind. Soft and spongy, the “Hamakua” mushrooms absorb whatever you give them, and they also have a meaty quality about them vs. dry and unfulfilling. Typically Hamakuas include Ali’i, Shimeji and Kea Shon Shimeji, and together they are unbelievable. Taking it one step further, just add Shiitake mushrooms, and the medley is complete.