Seared tuna with a pickled vegetable salad

Seared tuna with a pickled vegetable salad

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
8 thick-cut tuna steaks, each about 170 g
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

For the pickling liquor

Quantity Ingredient
100ml rice wine vinegar
100ml water
1 teaspoon salt
100g palm sugar, (or brown sugar)

For the salad

Quantity Ingredient
1 green mango
1 carrot
5 cm piece daikon
1/2 cucumber
50g mangetout
1 small red onion
4 cm piece fresh root ginger
handful bean sprouts
large handful coriander leaves
large handful mint leaves

For the dressing

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons palm sugar, (or brown sugar)
2 tablespoons chinese plum sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil


  1. To make the pickling liquor, put the vinegar, water, salt and palm sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat. Allow the salt and sugar to dissolve, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. For the salad, peel, stone and finely shred the mango. Peel the carrot and daikon and cut into julienne. Halve the cucumber lengthways and scoop out the seeds, then cut into julienne. De-string the mangetout and cut into julienne. Halve, peel and finely slice the red onion. Peel the ginger and cut into fine julienne.
  3. Place all the prepared vegetables in a bowl or large plastic food bag and pour over the cooled pickling liquor. Marinate for 2 hours, or ideally overnight.
  4. Drain the vegetables, discarding the pickling liquor, and put them in a bowl with the bean sprouts. Chop the coriander and mint leaves and add to the bowl.
  5. To make the dressing, mix the water and palm sugar together, leave the palm sugar to dissolve, then add the plum sauce, lime juice and sesame oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary (it should be a balance of sweet, sour and salty), then set aside.
  6. Brush the tuna all over with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Heat a frying or griddle pan over a medium to high heat and, when hot, place the tuna steaks in the pan. Cook until the colour changes to halfway up the sides of the tuna, then turn and cook on the other side in the same way. A thick-cut piece should still be rare but warm through the centre.
  8. Pour the dressing over the pickled vegetables and toss to coat evenly. Divide between 4 serving plates. Cut the tuna steaks in half and arrange next to the salad. Grind over some pepper and serve.

A note on the pickled vegetables...

  • These also go very well with duck breasts with ginger, honey and lime or spiced duck confit. Alternatively, try them with char siu pork tenderloin.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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