My last contribution to Market Musings was all about tea, and ever since there’s been an ever so quiet whisper in my head to actually cook with matcha powder again. This powdered form of green tea has a very distinct flavor, and, if used correctly, can yield itself a magical secret ingredient in a number of dishes. On top of this, my wife and I have been trying to add more fish into the meal rotation and went looking for a simple and new fish-based recipe that I could make something unique out of. Google brought me to this recipe for seared tuna with a wasabi butter sauce, which seemed like it would be pretty easy to modify…and all but one ingredient can be found at Mississippi Market (PS, dear MN legislature, please let grocery stores like co-ops sell wine):
One handy feature of the recipe’s site was the ability to adjust the portion; I set the recipe for 4 servings so that I would be sure to have extra sauce to add if needed. The ingredient list I used was a little different:
¾ cup of white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons minced scallions (the green bits sliced and set aside for garnish)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2/3 cups unsalted butter
1.5 teaspoons of wasabi powder (more or less to your own taste)
1 tablespoon of matcha powder
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 ahi tuna steaks
~2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
I followed the directions given on the recipe, which is all pretty simple—less than 40 minutes from start to finish for everything. I used scallions and garlic instead of shallots and left out the cilantro (because, sadly, it was the one thing I forgot to put on the shopping list). Towards the end of making the butter sauce, I mixed the wasabi and matcha powders in a small bowl with just enough water to make a thin slurry, then added this in with the wine and butter mixture—this way there was no risk of the tea flavor cooking out. For side value, I cooked up a bit of white rice, asparagus, and red peppers. After plating up all the solids, we drizzled the matcha wasabi butter sauce over everything, and it turned out to be a very tasty meal.
A quick cautionary word on matcha: If you’ve ever had green tea made from this powder, you know it can be an acquired taste. It’s almost like green tea concentrate—a little can go a *long* way. This being an experimental recipe on my part, I just guessed at using a tablespoon, which turned out fine for us. It’s certainly the type of thing you can start with just a little, and add more in any time before you actually dish up—the same goes for wasabi powder. Be warned: this sauce as we made it has a very strong flavor. Not spicy or pungent, just bold in the way matcha and wasabi can be. It works *very* well on the tuna, but we found it quickly overpowering when paired with rice alone.