Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Black Sesame Tuna Skewers with Carrot-Miso Sauce

Holiday parties are in the air! Time to dress up, get together with friends, chill some bubbly (or make a Cosmopolitan Champagne Cocktail) and feel the warmth and light of the season. These December weekends are filling up quickly with festive gatherings, and what better way to feed guests than with an array of appetizers? Appetizers are a lovely way to sample a variety of tasty nibbles. Basically, you can graze all evening and not fill up too much!

When thinking of new hors d’hoeuvres to serve, I thought about flavors that pack a punch in a small bite. Miso, ginger and rice wine vinegar came to mind and from there a sauce was born. I added a carrot for sweetness and color, peanut butter for texture and a dash of soy sauce and lime juice. A little salty, a little tangy, a little sweet ... I have to say, it’s good! It’s also vegan and can be prepared ahead.

The next decision – what to dip – was easy. Tuna skewers! Seared tuna is quick to prepare and it pairs well with the flavors of the sauce, plus skewers are always fun at a party. Served on a platter, they are easy for your guests to grab while sipping a cocktail and chatting. You could also place a platter of crudités to dip alongside for color and crunch. The skewers offer a nice balance to the rich, cheesy bites on the buffet table (of which I’m a fan!). These were a hit with my family and I only wish I’d made more. I was looking for something else to dip in the sauce when the skewers disappeared and found that a spoon works well, too!

Black Sesame Tuna Skewers with Carrot-Miso Sauce
Makes 12-13 skewers and 1 cup of sauce

Carrot-Miso Sauce:

3 tablespoons miso paste (I used shiro miso)
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Black Sesame Tuna Skewers:

1 pound fresh tuna steaks, cut into 24-26 cubes, approximately 3/4 inch
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Pickled ginger for skewers
12-13 wooden skewers

For the sauce, place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until a smooth sauce is formed. Spoon into a small serving bowl. This can be prepared ahead of time and kept chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.

For the tuna, toss the tuna cubes with the soy sauce in a medium sized bowl. Let marinate for about half an hour. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the tuna and stir gently to evenly coat.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the tuna in the skillet in a single layer and sear until it is browned on all sides but still pink inside (use tongs to move the pieces around since it cooks quickly).

To prepare the skewers, slide one piece of tuna on a skewer, a slice of pickled ginger and then a second piece of tuna. Repeat with remaining tuna. Arrange the skewers and the sauce on a platter and serve. Pour some bubbly and start your party!


  1. Yum, I love everything about this recipe! The flavors are all some of my favorite. Great idea to make tuna skewers!

  2. Hi Hannah, I love your blog, thanks for stopping by mine and leaving your lovely comments!These tuna skewers look delicious.Have to try it :)

  3. @Katherine Martinelli
    Thank you so much, Katherine! I could eat flavors like these everyday - I never tire of them. Have a great weekend!

  4. @Soni
    Thank you, Soni! I hope you enjoy the skewers. Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Oh these look so good & perfect to have a little lighter fare..everything in moderation! :)

    1. Thank you, Mairi! These skewers do make a good little nibble ... you're so right about moderation.


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