Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with Soy, Ginger, Lime Sauce
½ cup rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
⅓ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon dried red chili flakes
26-inch Japanese or Persian cucumbers, cut into ⅛-inch slices
Soy Ginger Lime Sauce:
2 teaspoons ginger minced
6 tablespoons lime juice, about 2 limes
4 tablespoons soy sauce plus 2 more teaspoons
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons water
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
20 ounces ahi tuna (four 5-oz pieces) about 1 inch thick
8 tablespoons sesame seeds (white, black, or mixture of both)
2 tablespoons grape seed oil or vegetable oil
Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and chili flakes in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat. Add cucumber slices and stir. Let rest 10 minutes, then transfer cucumber to a sealable container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Soy Ginger Lime Sauce
Whisk together all soy ginger lime sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.
Place sesame seeds on a plate. Pat dry tuna steaks with a paper towel to remove excess water. Dredge and press tuna in sesame seeds, coating the tuna evenly. Sprinkle with more seeds as needed.
In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil until just smoking. Frying two portions at a time, arrange the tuna steaks in the pan (do not overcrowd) and cook until the sesame seeds start to turn golden underneath, about 1 minute. Turn the tuna over and cook for 1 minute. Sear the edges of the tuna for 15 seconds on each edge. Transfer the tuna to a plate with a paper towel, patting to gently soak up any excess oil. Repeat with remaining tuna portions. Transfer tuna to a cutting board and cut ¼-inch thick slices.
Arrange tuna on individual serving plates or bowls. Serve with pickled cucumbers and soy ginger lime sauce.