The inspiration for this recipe was the seared fish tostada I enjoyed during my recent trip to Mexico (see my previous post for the full story).
Overall, it was a delightful bite; the only thing I thought I would change was the deep fried veggie shavings at the top (see picture); although a great contrast with the seared fish and creamy avocado, fresh shredded veggies can provide the same (or better) crunch, without the fat. I also skipped the sesame seeds, and added cilantro and a strip of hot red pepper to enhance the Mexican flavours to the max.
Seared Tuna Tostada – Tostada de atún sellado
6-8 tostadas (crispy corn tortillas, see below)
1 lb (454g) sushi/sashimi-grade tuna (see below)
1 tbsp oil (olive, or any other vegetable oil)
Kosher or other coarse salt, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
Raw veggies, to taste: shredded red cabbage, shredded carrot, thinly sliced cucumber, thinly sliced radish (and/or jícama)
Cilantro sprigs and red pepper strips (hot or sweet, to taste), to garnish
Lime wedges, to serve
I am sometimes able to find tostadas at a couple of my local supermarkets, and for sure if I take the hike to an international grocery store (photo below, left). If packaged tostadas are not available, day-old or thawed corn tortillas may be brushed with vegetable oil, and baked in a 400°F (205ºC) oven, just until crisped; do not leave un-attended, since they burn quite easily, and be careful with the hot oil that might drip from the tostadas when taking them out of the oven. I very briefly baked my tostadas in the oven anyway, to freshen up their taste from the package (photo below, right):
Notice the edges very lightly browned, and the shiny oil on the surface; again, do not leave the tostadas unattended, remove promptly, and be careful not to touch the hot oil (yes, I did get burnt, ouch! Hence the emphasis.) It is an extra step, but the resulting texture, scent and taste are somewhat superior this way.
For the fish, make sure it is sushi/sashimi grade, which means that it has been treated at temperatures low enough to kill bacteria and parasites, making it safe to eat raw or partially cooked. I was lucky to find sushi-grade tuna that was also sustainably wild caught, at an organic store:
Let the fish thaw in the fridge for a few hours. Meanwhile, wash, drain and prep all the toppings, garnishes and lime wedges; set aside. Right before serving, unpack the thawed fish and pat dry with a paper towel; place in a tray and generously sprinkle coarse salt and freshly ground pepper on top, turning to coat all sides:
Oil a frying pan, wiping excess with a paper towel (photo below, left), and place over medium-high heat. Once the pan is very hot, but not smoking, cook tuna pieces, turning every ten to fifteen seconds (photo below, right):
Do not overcook; expose each surface to the heat only until it turns opaque. Remove from heat onto a cutting board and slice thinly.
To assemble: place a crisped tostada on a plate, and several slices of fish on the tostada; arrange veggies of choice, showcasing the different colours and shapes as best as possible (I used sliced red cabbage, long slices of unpeeled cucumber, shredded carrot, and paper-thin jícama slices). Finish with avocado, a sprig of cilantro and a strip of red pepper on top. Serve immediately with a wedge of lime on the side:
I think this tostada was comparable to the original one in terms of flavour (both delicious!) but in my opinion, the fresh crunch from the raw veggies was more pleasant, and the visual appeal from the variety of colours and shapes was a big bonus.
I would like to dedicate this post to the talented poetic blogger Victoria Stuart @ Family Matters; she always has the kindest comments for my posts and recipes, and quoting her about this recipe: “Ay, yi, yi, no puedo esperar! Can’t wait for that recipe!!” So here it is, Victoria, espero que la disfrutes! I hope you enjoy it!
I am bringing my recipe to Thursday Favourite Things #398. Special thanks to Marilyn @ Marilyn’s Treats and Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn for featuring my Sinaloa Style Chicken on their party blog posts this week, and for hosting along with Pam @ An Artful Mom, Katherine @ Katherine’s Corner, Nina @ Vintage Mama’s Cottage, Amber @ Follow the Yellow Brick Home, Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance, and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.