Sesame Tuna Quinoa Bowl with Peanut Sauce
Why we love it:
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 11⁄2 cups Water
- 11⁄2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 2 teaspoons Canola Oil divided)
- 2 cups Sugar Snap Peas (destrung)
- 2 Carrots (small)
- 1 English Cucumber
- 1⁄2 cup Chopped Peanuts
- 1 teaspoon White Sesame Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Black Sesame Seeds (sub all white seeds if you can't find these)
- 3⁄4 pound Ahi Tuna Steak
- 1⁄2 cup Peanut Butter (smooth ideally)
- 1⁄3 cup Soy Sauce (we love tamari)
- 1⁄4 cup Rice Vinegar (unseasoned)
- 1⁄3 cup Sesame Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Sriracha (optional but recommended)
- 2 Tablespoons White Sugar (optional but recommended)
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Fresh Ginger (about 1" knob)
Place 1 cup quinoa, 1 ½ cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt together in a pot with a fitted lid and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, stir well, then reduce to medium low and partially cover. Cook for about 10 minutes, then stir well. Cook for another 5-6 minutes until the water is absorbed and stir again. Then turn off the heat and cover. Let it sit.
2. PEANUT SAUCE
Add all ingredients to a blender (that's the: peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, ginger, garlic) and blend until very smooth. If you have a bullet blender for smoothies, use that. If you want to avoid a machine all together - add the peanut butter to a glass bowl and microwave it for 35 seconds. Finely mince the garlic and ginger, small as you can (or grate it on a microplane grater) and whisk it in. Add the other ingredients and whisk to combine.
Trim the snap peas to remove the strings as needed. Use a large saute pan and set to medium high heat. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan (½ teaspoon) and when hot and shimmery, add the peas. Cook, stirring or flipping a few times, for just 2-3 minutes until they’re bright green and just cooked. Transfer to a plate and turn off the heat under the pan.
Slice carrots into very thin rounds.
Dice cucumbers into rounds or small diced cubes.
Place the black and white sesame seeds in a shallow dish. Place the tuna on a cutting board. If you have just 1 large piece, use a sharp thin knife to cut it in 2 or 3 smaller triangle shaps. Usually, 1 piece is a large triangle, so you can either cut it in half starting from the top point, or cut a V shape into the longest flat side, thus making 3 small triangles.
Sprinkle both sides with a good pinch of salt. Then brush both sides with ½ teaspoon of sesame oil. Press the wet fish into the seeds to coat both sides.
Heat the saute pan over medium high heat (don’t need to wash it after the peas), and add ½ teaspoon of oil. When hot and shimmery, add the tuna steaks and cook the first side for about 3 minutes. Carefully flip and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. This will result in a rare inside, that’s the best for ahi tuna! If you must cook it longer, go for it, but you don’t really want to go past medium rare - if you plan to, see substitutions for using a different fish.
When the tuna is done, remove from the pan and let it rest on the cutting board. See which way the grain is running and slice into ¼’ thick slices perpendicular to the grain, this will make it super tender.
Fill the bottom of a large bowl with quinoa and press it a little bit flat. Top with cucumbers, carrots. Shingle the tuna slices on top. Drizzle the peanut sauce over top to taste. Garnish with chopped peanuts.