I've noticed that green and puerh teas have such a rich and often earthy flavor so they pair so well with savory dishes. If you remember my Gyokuro Shrimp recipe, this is a similar idea but with some different spices and a longer marinating time. Tuna steaks are often seared quickly both sides and enjoyed with a somewhat rare inside. The key to this recipe for me is the hours it is marinated.
My marinade is fairly liquid due to the tea and lemon juice so the tuna is literally soaking it all up. Even if you cook these steaks to be rare or medium rare that meat will have the delicious flavor of the marinade packed into it.
I decided that I would go with tart and spicy on this marinade with the lemon juice, peel, fresh garlic and ginger. I also used a little bit of basil to cool it down, especially if you choose to use some red pepper flakes like I did.
I've recently been watching The Great British Baking show and one episode they had to make tea loaves. I thought this was fun because I had recently made tea infused bread (recipe coming soon). I was shocked when one of the judges said that he was impressed with everyone's bread because tea is a difficult ingredient to incorporate into baked goods and food. EXCUSE ME? If you've noticed that my blog has been dominated by recipes lately it's because I'm here to prove that notion wrong!
When I think of a recipe, it's basically anything that includes water or an ingredient of some sort that I can either use tea as a substitute or brew the tea into the ingredient. Marinades are often liquid so I simply brew my desired tea and use some of it to marinade the tea! You can also use the entire leaves as well as the brew but it's important to pay attention to how bitter the tea will become. Give the leaves a taste before you incoporate them into the dish.
I grew up brewing tea not paying any attention to brewing times. Persians like their tea dark, or at least my family did and it was always more about color and aroma than how long it had been brewing. Green teas are different. As a general rule, you should follow brewing times carefully so that your tea does not become so bitter, especially if you are using it for food!
The first brew time suggested 60 seconds which is what I followed. I think that because the meat is raw, it's better if you allow it to cool before adding it to the marinade. If you add hot tea in right away you risk the heat from the tea cooking the ingredients as well as the meat while it marinades.
Instead of plopping the tuna into the marinade I think it will turn out better if you really soak the tuna. I spooned the liquid over the meat a few times and made sure some of the spices were sitting on top of the tuna. In my directions I mention turning over the tuna during the marinade time, don't forget to spoon the liquid over the tuna again at that point.
I think the tuna turned out delicious but I didn't SEAR it like you see in many recipes because I poured the marinade over the tuna in the pan. If you want a crisper outside, simply place the tuna into the hot pan without the liquid!
We enjoyed these steaks with sushi rice and some baked green beans. I have made this sushi rice recipe many times and it's so easy to follow. I only suggest using 1 tablspoon of sugar instead of 3...unless you like super sweet sushi rice!
Bon Appétit !
I would LOVE to know if you try this recipe, feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email :)