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Seared peppered rare tuna loin, soy & honey glaze, red pepper escabèche, avocado & lime purée

This seared tuna, a super starter, is a recipe in one of Derry's many cookbooks, called ‘Not Just a Cookbook' which is available from l'Ecrivain Restaurant, 109A Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2, (01) 6611919

Serves:  4


Seared peppered rare tuna loin

400 g fillet of bluefin tuna
2 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed & roasted
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Soy & honey glaze

200 ml soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey

Red pepper escabèche

4 shallots, peeled & cut into fine strips
2 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 whole star anise
4 bay leaves
small pinch of saffron
2 cinnamon sticks
2 red peppers, deseeded & cut into fine strips
100 g brown sugar
zest & juice of 1 lemon
salt & freshly ground white pepper
250 ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon coriander, chopped

Avocado & lime purée

2 avocados, peeled & finely diced, stone retained
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon coriander, chopped
salt & freshly ground white pepper


Seared peppered rare tuna loin

Mix the peppercorns and coriander together and coat the tuna. In a hot frying pan sear the tuna fillet in the olive oil and season with salt. Set aside and chill.
Soy & honey glaze

Bring the soy sauce to the boil in a heavy-based saucepan, then reduce the heat until it's lightly simmering. Skim any impurities that rise to the surface as you are reducing the soy. When the soy is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon heavily, strain it through a fine sieve. Add the honey and stir well over a low heat until it comes together. Taste and add more honey if required.

Red pepper escabèche

Fry the shallot and garlic gently in the olive oil in a large saucepan. Stir in the star anise, bay leaves, saffron and cinnamon sticks. Add the peppers, sugar and lemon zest and cook for a few minutes. Season.
Cover with stock and lemon juice and simmer until the peppers are cooked but not mushy. Strain the liquid, retaining the pepper mix in a separate bowl, then reduce the liquid until it has a syrupy consistency. Mix the peppers and liquid when cooled and stir in the coriander.

Avocado & lime purée

Combine the avocado and lime purée ingredients in a bowl and pop the avocado stone into the middle. (This prevents the avocado from going brown.) Seal tightly with clingfilm and refrigerate.

To serve

Slice the seared tuna loin and arrange it between four chilled plates. Spoon the red pepper escabèche and avocado and lime purée at the side. Drizzle with the soy and honey glaze.

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