December 29, 2009

Thai BBQ II: Thai Style Tuna + Chinese Alternative

This barbecued tuna is an easy alternative to just chucking it on the barbie, and once you've got all the ingredients together takes no time at all. For a Chinese alternative scroll to the bottom...

Serves 4:

4 tuna steaks (preferably fresh tuna)
Fresh lemon grass
Ginger (Thai use an ingredient called 'gananga' but if unavailable ginger is a good alternative)
Basil leaves
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil
1 small chilli
Garlic pepper
Soy sauce

To cook:

Silver foil

Our resident Thai chef says that you can just throw in any herbs, but these are a good starting point.

Firstly chop the lemon grass into 2 inch lengths (quite thin) to create a small handful and put into a mixing bowl, along with the chopped small chilli. Grate around 1-2 tablespoons of ginger and add, along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, a pinch of garlic pepper and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Chop a handful of basil to release the flavour and add all the ingredients into the bowl and mix well.

Once mixed, place aside and cut a cross into both sides of each tuna steak, about one inch deep. Salt both sides of the tuna by rubbing it in with your fingers:

This will help to draw in the marinade flavours. Next, butter 4 square cuts of foil, big enough to wrap the tuna in so it is tightly wrapped and air tight. Place a healthy spoonful of the herb mixture on top of each steak, and wrap up tight:

Leave the herb and mixture to marinade for about 20 minutes, before placing on the pre-heated BBQ. The steaks should take around 15 minutes to cook, but keep checking as like beef, tuna doesn't have to be cooked all the way through before serving, so depending on individual tastes you might want to use less or more time.

Chinese Alternative

4 tuna steaks
Shitake mushrooms/ Rat Ear mushrooms
Ginger (about 2 tspns)
Soy sauce
Oyster sauce

To cook:

4 square cuts of silver foil

As with the Thai style tuna, you need to mix all the ingredients in a bowl before marinading. Firstly chop the ginger into strips (see picture below), followed by a chopped handful of mushrooms (chopped quite large) and add to the bowl. In Thailand they use mushrooms called 'Rat Ear' - as you can see from the shape that is exactly what they look like:

For an alternative, you can use shitake mushrooms which are available in most supermarkets. Next, peel a small handful of garlic (4-5 cloves) and rather than chopping it into small pieces, use the flat blade of a large kitchen knife to crush the garlic (do this on a hard chopping board or kitchen surface). Finally, add a good glug of oyster sauce and a pinch of pepper to the bowl and mix well.

Next, cut a one inch deep cross into each side of the fish steak (as above), salt both sides of the tuna by rubbing it in with your fingers, and place the fish onto the buttered foil. You do not need to butter the whole piece, just enough for the tuna to sit on. Add a good heaped tablespoon or two of the mixture onto the top of the fish and wrap up so the foil is air tight.

Place the fish on the pre-heated BBQ for 15 minutes or so, or until cooked as desired.

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