Buy a nice fresh piece of tuna from your fishmonger. Things to look for are a deep red colour, a firm smooth flesh that doesn’t appear dull or watery and the cut surface should have a rainbow-like shimmer across it. Always have a smell; it should be fresh and a little salty.
Serves 4 – 6
- juice of 5 limes
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar*
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut milk
- 200 mL/7 oz vegetable oil
- 100 g/31/2 oz Thai pink shallots (Asian shallots), finely sliced lengthways
- 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced lengthways
- 3 loosely packed cups frisée;
- purple basil leaves;
- curly endive, smaller inside leaves;
- baby basil leaves
- leaves of 1 bunch fresh coriander
- 500 g/1 lb 2 oz fresh tuna
- 2 avocados, diced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* Available at specialist Asian food shops.
To make the marinade, mix all the ingredients together in a ceramic bowl.
To prepare the garnish, heat 150 mL/5 fl oz of the oil in a small pan. Fry the shallots and garlic separately until golden. Be aware that the colour will increase after they have been fried. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Cool and reserve.
Rinse and drain the cress, endive, mint, basil and coriander leaves. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator, until required. Using a very sharp knife, neatly cut the tuna into 1 cm/1/3 in slices. Place in the marinade, covering all the slices well, and leave for 5 minutes. Season the avocados with salt and pepper and toss with the lemon juice.
Gently drain the tuna, then arrange on a serving plate. Top with the avocado and drizzle over a little of the remaining oil. Toss the last of the oil with the cress and coriander and arrange on top of the avocado.
Grind the fried shallots and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and sugar in a mortar and pestle to give a crumbly texture. Sprinkle over the salad and serve at once.