Tuna & Clams with Cilantro Dressing

Tuna and Clams with cilantro

The quality of Tuna served in UK restaurants has greatly improved both in the freshness and how it is cooked . Tuna is definitely a type of fish that needs to be undercooked, but to do that the freshness has to be second to none.  To help my readers better understand how good fresh tuna should be please take a look at my compilation photo*which is at the bottom of this article.

Cilantro is the name given to Coriander in America and other Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico. Only when the plant goes to seed do they call it Coriander.

Mediterranean flavours, spices, chillies olives and oriental flavours all work well with Tuna, just avoid rich creamy sauces. It’s better to buy small thick Tuna steaks than thinly cut big steaks, which may easily get overcooked.

4 x 150gr (6oz) Tuna steaks
Zest and juice of 1 ½ lemons
2 Tbsp chopped Coriander
100ml Olive oil 2 dessert
1 Beefsteak tomato
1 ½ washed bags baby spinach leaves
1 Good pinch of Saffron
16 live clams
1 Teaspoon coriander seeds
50ml white wine
2 dessertspoons olive oil

  1. Grind the coriander seeds into a fine powder.
  2. Place the saffron in a teacup and cover with 2 teaspoon of boiling water.
  3. Scrub the clams in cold water making sure the clams are all tightly shut.
  4. Place the clams in a stainless steel saucepan and pour on the wine. Cover the clams with a lid and cook over a medium high heat until the clams are open.
  5. Lift the clams out of the cooking liquor and wash to remove any sand or grit. Keep the liquor and allow it to cool.
  6. Whisk the lemon juice and zest into the olive oil, and then add the fresh and ground coriander.
  7. Remove the seeds from the Beefsteak tomato and cut into a small even dice.
  8. Add the tomato to the dressing and then whisk in the saffron.
  9. Season the dressing with salt & black pepper then add a little of the reserved clam stock.
  10. In a non-stick large frying pan wilt the spinach with 1 dessertspoon of olive oil and season. Keep the spinach warm and allow to drain.
  11. Rub the tuna steaks with the remaining olive oil and cook on a hot Char-grill or on a griddle type frying pan
    for 3 minutes on each side and season whilst you are cooking them. Please keep in mind the thinner the tuna the quicker it will cook.
  12. Add the clams (still in their shells) during the last 2 minutes back into the pan to warm back up.

To Serve
Divide the spinach between 4 dinner plates, and then top with the tuna steaks and clams. Spoon over the dressing and serve.

How To Buy Top Quality Tuna
Blue fin Tuna is considered the best and is highly prized by Japanese cooks who use it for sashimi. When very fresh Tuna is firm and quite red in appearance, one might say almost blood red. The older the Tuna the browner the fish becomes.

But like a lot of things in modern life things are no longer so straightforward.  In America Tuna can be treated with Carbon monoxide(CO) treatment or gas treatment, causes the tuna – or any red meat – to take and retain a bright watermelon red color, even long past when the product is edible. For consumer protection, Canada, the countries of Europe, Japan, and China have banned this process outright. It is still legal in the US. To help you I have created a compilation photo.  In the left picture you can see a good quality fresh tuna loin, in the middle picture you can how the tuna has oxidise and is now looking more brown than red.  Then in the third picture you can see tuna that has been gas treated and is unnaturally bright red.

Example Tuna

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