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This week Master B poaches tuna - legally of course

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Chinese Poached Tuna

This was passed on to me by a Chinese housemate of mine who makes the most succulent food.

Ingredients - (Serves 2)

  • 2 fresh tuna steaks
  • 350ml - 12floz - bottle of light soy sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Lettuce leaves (ideally Little Gem, but it's not really important)
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 or 3 cloves
  • Small piece (about 1cm) of cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp szechuan red pepper (use dried crushed chillies if you can't find it)

What To Do

The fennel, star anise, cloves, cinnamon and szechuan pepper are the constituents of Chinese 5-spice powder, but really should be bought fresh if possible. Pound them in a pestle and mortar or in a spice grinder.

Empty the bottle of soy sauce into a small saucepan and top up with the same volume of water. Add a generous splash of soy sauce and the ground spices. Bring to a steady simmer on the hob.

Cut each tuna steak into four or six pieces, depending on the size. Poach them for 1 minute only in the simmering broth. Do not let them overcook.

The tuna should still be pink in the middle. Serve each piece split in half by cutting nearly all the way through on a bed of lettuce, with just a little of the cooking sauce poured over the top. Eat with fried rice, seaweed and the Chinese starters of your choice.


This is also pretty good with belly pork. Increase the poaching time to 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your cut, but remember that pork should NOT be served pink in the middle!

Next Week: Hot Savoy Salad

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Master B

29.04.04 Front Page

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