Albacore Tuna

Photo: Danny Kim. Illustrations by John Burgoyne.

After a peak summer season spent feasting on herring, sardines, and the occasional squid, local albacore tuna are at their fattiest best. The pale-pink flesh is the palest in color and mildest in flavor of all tuna varieties, but takes well to this sensational Japanese blackened-tuna-sandwich treatment that Andrew Carmellini gives the fish over at the Dutch.

Andrew Carmellini’s Tuna Kuroyaki Sandwich

For the yuzu dressing:
2 tsp. sugar
3 tbs. rice vinegar
1/4 cup yuzu juice (available at Asian groceries like Sunrise Mart and Katagiri)
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 red Thai chile, finely diced

For the tobiko mayo:
1/4 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
1/2 cup Kewpie mayonnaise
3 scallions, sliced thin
1 tsp. yuzu kosho
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tbs. tobiko

For the tuna:
1 1/2 pounds albacore, cut into 4 portions, about 3 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch thick
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup togarashi
1/2 cup canola oil

For the sandwich:
4 soft rolls
Tobiko mayo
1 2.4-ounce package of tenkasu (tempura flakes; at Katagiri)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, leaves separated
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced medium thin
1/2 cucumber, cut in half widthwise and sliced thin lengthwise and soaked in yuzu dressing

For the yuzu dressing: mix ingredients in a bowl and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
For the tobiko mayo: Mix ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate.
For the tuna: (1) Season both sides of each piece of tuna with salt and togarashi. Heat half the canola oil in a large pan over high heat. (2) Sear the fish on each side, 2 pieces at a time. Cook to medium-rare. Repeat with remaining pieces.
To assemble sandwich: Cut the rolls in half, and lightly toast insides so they’re crisp. Spread each side with tobiko mayo, and sprinkle tenkasu over the mayo. (3) Starting from the bottom, layer with 2 or 3 slices of lettuce, 1 slice of tomato (seasoned with salt and pepper), tuna, and 2 slices of cucumber. Serves 4.

Albacore Tuna