Seared Tuna Steak w/ Avocado & Cilantro Lime Dressing, and the Perils of Grocery Shopping in NYC

Grocery shopping in NYC can be a royal pain in the ass.  Sure, its fun when you only have to get the necessities for that night’s dinner, and you can extol the virtues of residing in a City where nearly any ingredient is at your fingertips. Its much like I always imagine it would be to live in Paris, where I could drop in on the butcher, the baker, and the local fromagerie, filling my darling little red Hermes bag full of goodies as I daintily make my way home from work, smiling sweetly at the delivery boys who whistle at the sight of me tip-toeing down the cobblestone streets in my perfect pencil skirt and 3 inch heels.

But sometimes, you really need to stock the pantry, like the times you don’t just need milk and eggs, but you’ve also run out of pasta, soy sauce, the husband’s hot pockets, and triscuits (gotta have triscuits).  On those days, I substitute my imaginary darling red Hermes bag for my not-so-darling red Granny Cart (its impossible to be dainty when using a Granny Cart), and make my way to Brooklyn’s own ‘Steve’s “Boogie Down” C-Town.’  (No, its not actually called “Boogie-Down.”)  Steve’s C-Town is usually a complete and total zoo, but comes the closest to suburban one-stop grocery shopping that you are likely to find in my part of Brooklyn.  Packed to the gills, and staffed almost entirely by teenagers. I once made the error of asking a young man working the produce section to help me to find won-ton wrappers.  15 minutes later, he led me to taco shells, and seemed satisfied with a job well done.  He then went to the next aisle, where I think I heard him break up with his girlfriend.

What does any of this have to do with Seared Tuna Steak w/ Avocado and Cilantro Lime Dressing?  Well I am getting to that.  You see, your heroine made the trek to Steve’s C-Town, in the pouring rain mind you, just to be able to make this dish for you, my dear readers.  As some of you have pointed out, I have been a particularly bad blogger as of late.  My dear friend Rebecca further pointed out that this has been particularly frustrating, as she now has to actually pick up the phone and call me when she wants to know what is going on in my life.  This will not do.

There are actually benefits to grocery shopping in the pouring rain in NYC.  For one, C-Town was dead, and I did not have to stand in a 15 minute line where I always seem to end up getting questioned by the woman behind me about why I would ever be crazy enough to pay that exorbitant amount for organic eggs.  Two, the deli guy was in rare form, giving me samples to try when I couldn’t decide on my deli meat.  Three, one of the teenagers actually helped me to load my Granny Cart, and lifted it over the gate that prevents anyone from stealing grocery carts.  I even got a “New York whistle” (this is when men hiss at you like you are a cat) from some delivery boys on break.  My Paris dreams were all coming true!  And that’s when the rain wetting the plastic bags in my cart caused the entire top layer of stacked bags to fall to the ground, with the bag holding my organic eggs leading the pack.  Oh New York, you do make it hard to love you sometimes.

So on to the recipe.  Yes, this is the recipe that I have been promising these past few weeks, the one I made not once, not twice, but three times when my husband was away on his business trip.  What’s so great about it, you ask?  Well first of all, it has lots of avocado.  Secondly, well…does there really have to be a secondly where avocado is concerned?

Seared Tuna Steak w/ Avocado & Cilantro Lime Dressing
adapted from both Tyler Florence & Dr. Andrew Weill
serves 1

1 fresh tuna steak – as big as you are hungry
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly microplane-grated ginger
2 cloves freshly microplane-grated garlic
1 teaspoon brown sugar
juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 handful chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 haas avocado – cubed
salt & pepper

Step 1:  Prepare your dressing.  Add the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, and lime juice to a bowl, and whisk together.  Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking as you do, until incorporated into the dressing.  Taste, and adjust oil/salt/acidity if needed.  Add the chopped cilantro and mix gently.  Step 2:  Set a dry non-stick pan over medium-high heat, until its hot.  Season the tuna steak on one side with plenty of salt & freshly ground black pepper.

Step 3:  Place the tuna, seasoned side down, into the pan.  It should sizzle loudly.  Season the side facing up, allow the tuna steak to cook for just a minute, and then flip it over.  Step 4:  Immediately spoon a large spoonful of the dressing over the cooked side of tuna.  It will sizzle around the tuna as it cooks for barely one more minute, forming a syrupy glaze around the bottm of the tuna steak.

Step 5:  Remove from the pan to a plate, top with the cubed avocado, and drizzle with the remaining dressing.  Enjoy.

Did you catch how remarkably quick and easy this recipe is?  Its seriously like not even 10 minutes till its on your plate.  Now let me fill you in on a little secret about grating fresh ginger.  Cooking with fresh ginger used to be a huge pain in the butt to me until I learned this cool trick.  Take your ginger home from the market, peel/cut away the brown skin, and make yourself cubes and sticks of the yellow root.  Now place them in a small plastic bag, and freeze them.  Whenever you need grated ginger, just grate one of the little frozen blocks for the amount you need.  It works beautifully.  You know who I learned this from?  Rachael Ray!  See, we shouldn’t hate on Rachael Ray, ill-fitting pants aside.

26 comments to Seared Tuna Steak w/ Avocado & Cilantro Lime Dressing, and the Perils of Grocery Shopping in NYC

  • Okay, several comments, in no particular order:

    1) I don’t know you as well as Rebecca, but I agree. “Where the hell are her posts–?!” I’ve been asking myself.

    2) This looks unbelievably good and so simple. I’m making this fo’sho.

    3) I laughed out loud at the “job well done” comment.

    4) Great tip about the ginger, even though it comes from that harpie.

    5) Ill fitting pants?! Forget that. I’d just be ever so grateful if RR took JUST A TINY PORTION OF HER MILLIONS and actually got fitted for a PROPER FITTING BRASSIERE. I have NEVER seen a woman in so ill fitting a bra, on t.v., like, ever.

    That’s all. Welcome back. I’m making this tuna this week.

  • sarajane

    Okay, delurking to agree with Kate on number 5. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks so, and is regularly disturbed by that.

    Note to self: get a life.

    Tuna looks awesome. Thanks.

  • Ron

    Another great recipe, Kitty. Too bad your husband won’t eat it! Poor guy doesn’t know what he’s missing…

  • […] Recipe continued here […]

  • norecipes

    Hahahha I can relate all to well. Shopping in the city is even worse. Stepping foot into a Wholefoods or Trader Joes is an exercise patience and navigating the currents of people can be tricky… I’m always getting swept towards dairy while trying to get from produce to meat.

    • The Trader Joe’s on Court St in Brooklyn is actually rather sane. Just go before 1pm on the weekends, and it’s magically serene by NYC standards. (shhh please don’t tell…wink!) But I hear ya, I’ve all but given up shopping in regular grocery stores here!

      BTW, love the idea of avocado with seared tuna – omega 3 heaven!

  • First of all – what a perfect photo of a delicious dish! Thanks for the recipe – and for braving NYC to put it altogether! :)
    Secondly… I laughed out loud at Kate’s comments above… point #5. =) Love it!

  • Your C-town sounds less ghetto than the one I new from New Brunswick, NJ, where the “c” stood for “crack.”

    I’m also disturbed to realize that I’ve gotten that NY hiss but I can’t remember what it sounds like!!!

  • hahaha … the same hassle everywhere eh


    You’re invited to my chinese take-out party, check out the details in my blogpost:

    Hope you’ll play along :)

    Looking forward to your take on chinese take-out, cheers, rita

  • […] Tofu and Almond Salad Bowl [Appetite for China] Vegan Macaroni and Cheese [love like a vegan] Seared Tuna Steak with Avocado and Lime Dressing [My Husband Hates Veggies] Simple Tomato Phyllo Tart [everybody likes […]

  • I just pitched your opening paragraph to Disney – they want it for their next animated film.

  • ugh! I never thought I would have a worse experience in a NY area grocery store than the Gristedes I used to shop at in Manhattan…until I moved to Brooklyn! I’ve never been to the C-Town in question, but our local Pathmark is much the same as you described! great post!

  • Thanks for the ginger tip! I always buy the root, use it once and by the next time i need it it’s gone bad. I will certainly freeze next time!

  • […] I was searching for a “how to” sear tuna link I came across this Seared Tuna Steak w/ Avocado and Cilantro Lime Dressing recipe.  Ummm….YUM.   I’m printing it out and giving this a try next time I want something […]

  • Rachel

    Hi Kitty,

    My boyfriend also has some vegetable issues (we are also an Irish/Jew combination). Does your husband dislike raw, or cooked vegetables more? For the raw stuff, just make him salads that are chopped really fine, with plenty of tasty add-ons like nuts and or different cheeses. Nutty, Asian-inspired dressings (with peanuts or tahini) are also great to drizzle on.

    For the cooked, I’d suggest mashed cauliflower in the place of mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and pureed butternut squash/pumpkin soup. I think that vegetable-haters dislike the texture of veggies most of all, so pureeing and mashing them makes it easy to sneak them into a meal. Even the pickiest eaters tend to like all of those!

  • Rune Kristian Viken, Norway

    Let me just say .. I’ve eaten a lot of tuna-steaks. I’ve made it plenty of times myself, with various recipies. I’ve enjoyed it at restaurants, and so forth.

    Your recipie beats them all.

    The dinner I just finished 15 minutes ago, goes down as one of my top-10 dinners of all time, at home or at restaurants. And that with just one dish (and a salad on the side)!

    Absolutely unbelievable good. Thank you!

  • […] Seared Tuna with Avocado and Cilantro-Lime Dressing from Kitty of My Husband Hates Veggies […]

  • Great mix, but too much ginger, it covers the other odors. Half a teaspoon would be good. And the size of the dressing is a bit too big: it gives about a cup of it, so my tuna was swimming. Then half everything (but the avocadoes) and one quarter of the ginger.

  • amaebi519

    Thanks so much for this – my new fave tuna recipe! I find that the dressing actually serves 4, though – I make the recipe as-is and save the rest of the dressing in the fridge for next time (because there will always be a ‘next time’!). Love this over a rocket/spinach salad topped with toasted pine nuts, or over rice and topped with toasted sesame seeds. Yum!!!

  • Brittanii

    My husband and i LOVED this! it was so delicious and simple, i cooked it two nights in a row. Here’s to opening our minds and trying new delicious food. Def beats Tuna out of a can.

  • Allison

    Whoa…just found this recipe tonight right before dinner. This was AMAZING. Easy, quick & super healthy. We used a gluten-free soy sauce too! Making this a regular at my house! Going to use the leftover dressing on my spinach & broccoli pasta for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for sharing!

  • livnluvnlife

    Found this recipe on Pinterest and made it tonight. Absolutely fabulous. And, so easy! I’ll definitely be adding this to my repertoire. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sail tx

    Magnificent! Easy and very good – used lemon v. lime but still worked great!

  • Thanks for this recipe. It’s my new favorite sauce recipe. I haven’t actually used it for Tuna yet because it’s really hard to get Tuna in my area but I’ve used it on Haddock and Halibut and I even got my fiance to eat fish with this recipe! Believe me, that’s big!
    I’m going to share this right now.
    Nice work. 😀

  • Pablo

    I made it and Looooved it!!!

    I’ll repeat this forever!!

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