Seared tuna with sticky shiitake sauce

Seared tuna with sticky shiitake sauce

Feel Good Food
Chris Chen

This robust piece of oily fish is matched with a vigorous style of cooking and served with a hearty sauce – it’s all designed to feed a hungry person in need of some heavy-duty sustenance. Oily fish are fine left pink in the centre, although it may be best to ask your guests how they like theirs cooked before you do it your way.


Quantity Ingredient
10 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked overnight in 1 cup water
1 tablespoon dark roasted sesame oil
2 onions, finely sliced
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons shoyu
1 cup water
3 teaspoons kuzu or arrowroot, dissolved in 3 teaspoons cold water
2 tablespoons spring onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons ginger juice, (see note)
4 boneless tuna fillets, or any other oily fish, such as salmon or ocean trout
2 tablespoons dark roasted sesame oil
sea salt


  1. To prepare the shiitake sauce, first drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Remove any woody stems and thinly slice the caps. Set aside until needed.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a deep frying pan over low heat and sauté the onion for 10 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the shiitake soaking liquid, the sliced mushrooms, mirin and shoyu and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to the boil. Add the kuzu mixture and stir continuously for 2 minutes, until it becomes thick and translucent. Remove the pan from the heat and add the spring onion and ginger juice. Keep warm.
  4. Preheat a barbecue hotplate or chargrill pan to high. Brush the tuna steaks on both sides with sesame oil and sprinkle over some sea salt. Sear each side for 3–4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Serve with a good dousing of the shiitake sauce.


  • Grate an 8 cm knob of ginger, place in a muslin cloth (cheesecloth) and squeeze out the juice.
low fat
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