Sesame Tuna with a modified Sauce Messine

Just as much as I easily find good cuts of meat in the Haringey wing of Seven Sisters, well sourced tasty fish is equally as impossible to find. So when I crave it, I make it a proper treat, spending a bit more, but trying to find some sustainably sourced fish. In this case, I got a chunk of tuna from Wholefoods, together with some sea asparagus, and I planned to make something very special with them.

Sauce Messine is a traditional French sauce used for fish – it’s in my Elizabeth Davis book and I’ve made it a few times, although I almost never have the exact ingredients needed. As usual, I have allowed myself to make some adjustments and the result was simply delightful. This recipe serves two.

sesame_tuna_sauce messine_recipe

Ingredients:
For the tuna:
1 big chunk of tuna to cut or two chunks to serve separately
sesame seeds
soy sauce
sesame oil
150g sea asparagus
some butter for cooking

For the sauce:
200g light cream
1 tsp plain flour
60g butter
half a red onion
two eggs
French mustard
three or four basil leaves
some parsley
thyme

Step 1 – Start with the sauce, for which you have to chop the onion and the herbs and put them together on the side.

Step 2 – Melt the butter on a small pot and mix it with the flour. Pour into a hand mixer container and add the onion and herb. Then the egg yolks, a teaspoon of French mustard, and the cream (I used creme fraiche); mix the ingredients with the hand mixer.

Step 3 – Put the creamy, yet still liquid mixture, into a small sauce pan and make it simmer in bain marie until it thickens. All you have to do is stir at a low heat and make sure you don’t let it boil.

sesame_tuna_sauce messine_recipe

Step 4 – Now prepare the asparagus and any other veggies you want the fish to be served with – for example, I also served it with some boiled potatoes. Simply melt a knob of butter in a frying pan and add the asparagus for a few minutes. They don’t have to cook for long and they don’t need salt, as they are already very salty. As soon as ready, put them on the side ready to serve.

Step 5 – I advise you prepare the tuna just before you are cooking it, because otherwise the soy sauce would marinate it. Put your soy sauce in a deep dish and next to it put the sesame seeds on a flat dish, distributed so it will serve almost as a breading for the tuna.

sesame_tuna_sauce messine_recipe

Step 6 – Dip the tuna chunk in the soy sauce, taking care that all sides are covered in the sauce. Then “bread” the tuna with the sesame seeds, again making sure that you are covering all sides with a layer of seeds.

Step 7 – Put a few drops of sesame oil in a frying pan and fry the tuna for two minutes on each side. If you want, you can also fry it laterally for one minute per edge. Then serve, together with the asparagus and the Sauce Messine.

sesame_tuna_sauce messine_recipe

The amazing colour of the rare cooked tuna will titillate the palate at first sight and the strong flavours of the sea will be fantastically completed by my version of Sauce Messine. Let me know if you feel the same when you try this recipe!

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