With big cubes of black sesame encrusted marinated tuna, and sweet, juicy mandarin segments atop a bed of crisp napa cabbage and cilantro, this delightful Asian-inspired salad is satisfying enough to be the main course for brunch, but could also be served as a salad course for dinner. While it does involve a bit of work to prepare all the components, most of it can be done in advance, making this the perfect salad to impress, when you're having guests over.
- To marinate the tuna, add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, the sugar, and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to a sealable bag and agitate to dissolve the sugar. Add the tuna and press out as much air as you can before sealing the bag. Let this marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- Peel and segment the mandarin oranges and then peel the membranes off each segment. This can be made easier by using kitchen shears to cut the top of the wedge off, allowing you to peel both sides of the segment at the same time.
- Use a mandoline set to a thickness of 1/8-inch and slice from a cross section of the cabbage. You'll want to leave the core in while you're slicing to make it easier, but be sure to use a knife to cut off the core after you're done slicing. Soak the cabbage and cilantro leaves in cold water to crisp.
- Prepare a paper towel lined rack. Add 1/2-inch of vegetable oil to a heavy bottomed pot and heat to 360 degrees F. Fry the ribbons of spring roll wrapper turning occasionally to ensure even browning. Transfer the browned spring roll ribbons to the paper towel lined rack to drain.
- To make the dressing, add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, the rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and the salt to a small bowl. Grate the ginger and pass it through a tea strainer into the dressing, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible (you should be able to get about 1 1/2 teaspoons of juice). Discard the solids. Whisk the dressing together, adding white pepper to taste.
- Remove the tuna from the marinade and slice into 1/2-inch cubes. Add the sesame seeds to a small tray and roll the cubes of tuna around in the sesame to coat evenly.
- When you are ready to assemble the salad, drain the cabbage and spin in a salad spinner to dry. Add the cabbage, cilantro and chopped scallions to a bowl and toss with the dressing to taste.
- To plate, lay a piece of Bibb lettuce at the bottom of each plate and then divide the dressed cabbage between the plates. Top with the black sesame encrusted tuna and the mandarins. Finish with a nest of fried spring roll ribbons.
- 240 grams Yellowfin tuna
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 4 mandarin oranges
- 280 grams Napa cabbage
- 6 grams cilantro, leaves only
- 6 grams garlic , finely minced
- 12 grams scallions , finely chopped
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 4 spring roll wrappers, sliced into 1/8-inch wide ribbons
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 15 grams ginger, grated
- Ground White pepper to taste
- 40 grams black sesame seeds
- 4 leaves Bibb lettuce