Grilled Tuna Rolls

Tuna RollsIt’s a very special day today on the Erin Cooks blog! This post represents the inaugural web and home debut of my utilization of fish in a meal. You might be wondering how this could be possible since I live in Boston and hail from the state of Maine, both of which are well known for their seafood prowess. Unfortunately, while many of my childhood persnickety feelings surrounding certain high “ick factor” foods have been conquered, one large hang-up has essentially remained intact: my dislike of fishy things.

Early in our relationship CK introduced me to sushi (practically kicking and screaming I might add) and I slowly learned to love various maki rolls, especially anything containing spicy mayo, but in general I stick to the holy trinity of crab, tuna, and salmon. I’ve gingerly given into begrudgingly enjoying crab, especially the Dungeness crab I had in Seattle, and I now happily order tuna in restaurants, but you can’t get me to eat cooked salmon on a bet. Just the smell of it on other patron’s plates makes my stomach turn over. I so wish this wasn’t the case because it’s so incredibly good for you.

Tuna Rolls

Meanwhile, at the very least I can hopefully now sear up an occasional tuna steak for dinner — a very occasional tuna steak I might add since this one was $18.99 / pound at Whole Foods, but braving the smelly fish counter was definitely worth it. These tuna rolls are a great twist on the much more traditional lobster rolls that pop up all over the place in the summer. While most people lose their mind over lobster, it falls into my “please don’t make me eat this” category. I’m sure I’m not alone. So do your guests and family a favor and whip up this incredibly quick alternative sandwich filling. I especially loved the zing that the wasabi and citrus combination gave to the dish, plus it’s so much better for you as it uses bright green avocado as a filler instead of super bad for you mayonnaise. All of these ingredients piled high on a toasted bun and garnished with peppery arugula made me wish I could make this dish every week.

So now that I’ve found my “fish legs” what recipes would you recommend to a person who hates fishy fish? Do you have special tricks or tried and true marinades that take your fish dishes from “briny” to “bring me more please?” I’d love to hear your thoughts!

PS:  Congratulations Nicole! You were “lucky number” 72. You’ll be receiving a Lazy Baker cookie mix of choice in the mail shortly. Thank you to everyone for participating and be sure to stay tuned. There are always more giveaways in the works. In addition, if you haven’t already done so, please consider becoming a fan of Erin Cooks  on Facebook.

Grilled Tuna Rolls
Adapted from the recipe originally published by Ina Garten

Good olive oil
1 pound very fresh tuna steak, 1-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lime, zest grated
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
1 teaspoon soy sauce
5 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
1 firm, ripe Hass avocado, medium-diced
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced scallion, white and green parts
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
9 hot dog rolls, grilled or toasted
1 bunch baby arugula, washed and spun dry

Heat a charcoal grill with hot coals. Brush the grill with oil.

Brush both sides of the tuna with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook the tuna over the hot coals for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate. The tuna should be seared on the outside and raw inside. Allow to cool and cut into cubes.

(If you don’t want to heat a grill, you can sear the tuna in a dry saute pan over high heat. Heat the pan for 2 minutes, add the tuna steaks and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side until seared on the outside and still raw inside).

For the dressing, whisk together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lime zest, lime juice, wasabi powder, soy sauce, hot sauce, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Toss the avocado in the dressing and then add the tuna, red onion, scallion, and sesame seeds. Line the rolls with arugula leaves, fill with the tuna mixture, and serve.

Tuna Rolls