This recipe is an adaptation from The Union Square Cafe Cookbook. It has been on the menu at the Union Square Cafe since the acclaimed New York City restaurant opened in 1985. I have made this dish in the past, so the other day I decided to revisit it and pulled out the cookbook from my library.
Then next day the announcement was made that the Union Square Cafe will be shutting its doors next year. And although the plans are to relocate the restaurant, for almost 35 years it has been one of New York City's highly praised and much-admired venues in Union Square. Needless to say, I am deeply saddened to hear this news.
For this recipe, I didn't cut the tuna steaks into three-inch cubes to mimic a fillet mignon; I simply cut a tuna loin (about 15 oz) into two pieces. It is an adaptation. And using the ingredients that I had on hand, I put together an Asian-influenced marinade--similar to the original recipe--and then grilled the tuna on an indoor grill. The end result was a tuna that remained moist and very flavorful and tasted like steak.
For the Marinade:1 cup soy sauce
1 cup Mirin
1/2 cup Drysack sherry
4 Tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped scallions
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 oz fresh lemon juice
For the Tuna:
1 tuna steak, weighing about 15-16 oz, cut in half
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon Bourbon Smoked Pepper
1/4 cup pickled ginger
To Prepare:Combine all marinade ingredients in a glass bowl and place the tuna steaks in the marinade. Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning the tuna every 30 minutes.
About 20 minutes before cooking, remove the tuna from the marinade and drain. Place tuna on a plate until it reaches room temperature. Preheat a grill to very hot.
Drizzle olive oil into the grill pan. Place tuna stakes in pan and grill on one side for about 2 1/2 minutes. Turn fish over, sprinkle the Bourbon Smoked Pepper and grill for another minute. The outside should be well seared, and the center should be just warm and pink.