Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yellowfin Tuna & Tofu Redux

One of my favorites, back again...

I’ve spoken before about trying to incorporate varying textures within one dish. The human mind gets bored pretty easily and keeping the diner engaged with a particular course is paramount. For the tofu, I decided to caramelize one side on a hot pan, and then serve my yuzu jelly on the other side. That way, you not only have different textures on the bland tofu but also different temperatures.

Yuzu is a citrus fruit and plant. It resembles a smaller grapefruit. Yuzu’s flavor is tart. Here, I used Yuzu Juice to make the jelly.

Dashi, another ingredient in the jelly, is a Japanese stock that is the base of miso soups and numerous broths. My version is simply made with kombu (edible sea kelp) and bacon. I learned this one from David Chang.

Tuna is the steak of the ocean. So I cook it as such, a quick sear on a very hot pan, serve it rare. I use only Yellowfin Tuna, pole and line caught in the United States. If you care about sustainable fish, please click on the above link to learn about the various species of tuna and their sustainability. Stay away from Bluefin Tuna  it is incredibly overfished and will soon disappear from our oceans.

Miso Mayo, one of my favorite condiments around, can be purchased at Whole Foods.  It compliments so many dishes.


Yellowfin & Tuna Redux

For the Bacon Dashi:
2 - 6 inch pieces of kombu kelp
8 cups water
1/2 lb thick center cut smoked bacon

Rinse the kombu under running water.  In a stockpot, add the kombu to the 8 cups water.  Bring the water to a simmer (around 180 F).  Turn off the heat.  Let the kombu steep for 15 minutes.  Remove the kombu from the pot.  Add the bacon.  Return to the heat.  Bring to boil, reduce to simmer.

Simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove the bacon.  Strain the dashi through a fine mesh strainer.  Chill the broth in the fridge.  The fat will separate and harden forming a solid cap.  Remove the fat cap and discard.  The dashi will keep in the fridge for 7 days.

For the Yuzu Jelly:
1 tbs water
1 tsp powdered gelatin
1/3 cup bacon dashi
2 tbs yuzu juice
1 tsp organic honey
pinch of sea salt

In a microwaveable dish, combine the water and powdered gelatin.  Let sit for 2 minutes.  Microwave for 20 seconds.

In a glass bowl, combine the bacon dashi, yuzu juice, honey, and sea salt.  Whisk to incorporate thoroughly.  Add the melted gelatin.  Stir to combine.  Place in desired container.  Cover and fridge until set.

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. My goodness these are foods so pretty and perfect I wouldbe afraid to eat them or at least feel guilty, shear art here!

  2. beautiful meal and plating as usual... hope you're well! happy holidays :)

  3. Absolutely gorgeous dish. The tuna if perfect, and I obviously want to know more ;)
    The Yuzu Jelly sounds fascinating and I am not familiar with Yuzu juice, but I will be now. My kids will just drool at the mention of the bacon in this dish :)I believe that guest post was before my time, or early on so I will need to take a peek.
    Incredible presentation my friend.

  4. I love anything with tuna but it's often served dry and overcooked in restaurants so your dish is truly a breath of fresh air and so beautiful. Good that you only use yellowfin too. I adore yuzu juice in so many things and what a great idea to use it here.

  5. Gorgeous presentation as always Lazaro! Your yellowfin Tuna is seared perfectly. Great way of incorporating texture into the dish by caramelizing the tofu on one side and adding the yuzu jelly on the other side. Not only does this add flavor and texture, but the jelly also adds a beautiful yellow which goes together so well with the colour of the tuna. Lovely dish!

  6. Absolutely gorgeous, elegant and so special dish.
    I have never attempted to do anything like this in my life.
    Well fantastic, loved the way all ingredients work together.
    This is food taken to a very high level ♥

  7. It is all fantastic and too beautiful to eat! I love tuna and you did it up perfectly!

  8. Such a nice presentation, Lazaro. The colors are marvelous and vivid and the tuna looks perfect. You are one talented chef!

  9. Very pretty dish! You are so right about having varying textures. I also like how David Chang's dashi sounds with the addition of bacon. Thanks for the tip on blufin tuna--I will stay away!

    And thank you so much for your comment on my interview. I was SO nervous. Your comment made me smile! :-)

  10. Beautiful presentation and I love the vibrant colors! Great idea of making 2 textures of tofu. Tofu is mostly bland as you said; having a tart cool jelly on top is such a cool idea. The tuna is seared perfectly. Miso mayo is a great touch and tie everything together. I know, David Chang is all about bacons haha.

    Love the dish!

  11. Gorgeous! But I will never make it - however, I would love to eat it... it is just to foreign for me... that is now. Maybe, as I read more, and learn more, I will gain the confidence to explore more of this kind of food.

  12. Beautiful presentation Lazaro, the colors alone are pleasing to the eye. The textures you describe sound wonderful as well and the tuna looks seared just the way I like it:)

  13. Wow, is this beautiful. I love how you thought out each and every component of this. The tofu portion of this dish in particular really impressed me...I love not only the way you thought about different textures, but different temperatures as well. The yuzu jelly sounds like a fantastic accompaniment too.

  14. I love sweet and savory in any flavor combination (this is a girl who ate liver sausage and raspberry jam as a child). I love yuzu and can almost taste how well it goes with tuna. Stunning visual... you are a plating genius, Lazaro!!

  15. Lazaro your food is picture perfect and inventive too! You put me to shame buddy - cheers to you :)

  16. You've outdone yourself with this one, Laz, truly a HOME RUN. From the plating, to the photography, to the combo and how perfectly you cooked that tuna. It looks so delicious! Your palate is truly "out there!"

  17. I've never heard of Yuzu, but it really has a cool name. Fresh tuna is the best the sea has to offer and is soooo much fun to catch yourself.

  18. your tuna is cooked to perfection. i can never get it right for me, as it is always dry...

  19. A gorgeous dish, as always,Lazaro!

  20. Hi Laz

    My mind's in a bit of a fog at the moment, but even so, I can still appreciate how gorgeous this dish is. And the flavors- just WOW!!! Talk about popping all over the plate! I love the juxtaposition of cold tart yuzu jelly againt the mildly flavoured and warm tofu, and the tuna is absolute perfection. I did not think it was possible, but this is even better than the original. Bravo my friend!!!

  21. I love how your food is presented. Looks absolutely beautiful! Reminds me of the food at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. And I'm sure it tastes amazing too!

  22. The colors make me think of a bouquet of flowers but the taste has to be something else. Just amazing. Please don't tell me its something you just whipped up. What an incredible meal.

  23. ★•.¸¸.•*¨*❤•.¸¸.•*¨*☆•.¸¸.•*¨*❤
    HAPPY NEW 2011 YEAR!!!


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