Raw tuna is beautiful: silky smooth, with a rich mouth feel that is reminiscent of a well-made pate. When something is so good, there's no reason to cook it. In this way, tuna could be called the "tomato of the fish world": When it's fresh and perfect, why tamper with it? It's excellent on its own with just a little coarse sea salt. This dish is a celebration of raw flavors and textures: crisp radishes and sprouts, the lively surprise of mint, and the warmth of cilantro. Served with the wasabi dressing, it's perfect as a cold hors d'oeuvre or as a first course.
Yield: Serves 4
For the wasabi dressing:
3 tablespoons wasabi powder
3 tablespoons silken tofu
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon yuzu juice or fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon mirin
For the tuna and radish salad:
4 ounces assorted radishes, sliced paper thin or shredded (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons daikon sprouts or other peppery sprouts
1½ tablespoons yuzu juice or fresh lemon juice
1½ tablespoons mirin
1 pound sushi-grade tuna, preferably yellowfin, cut into 16 slices about 1¼-inch thick
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
To Make The Dressing: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk until smooth.
To Make The Salad: In a large bowl, combine the radishes, mint, cilantro, and sprouts. Add the yuzu or lemon juice and mirin and toss to mix well. Divide among 4 chilled plates.
Arrange 4 slices of tuna over each mound of salad, overlapping the slices slightly.
Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of the dressing around the salad on each plate, Finish by sprinkling sea salt over the tuna slices. Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container for up to 1 week.