The hero of today’s dish, Tuna Sashimi Salad, is the garlic-flavoured sesame dressing. The salad can be made with any fresh salad leaves but including julienned daikon (white radish) gives a Japanese touch to the presentation of the salad. I used seared sashimi tuna, but the sashimi does not have to be tuna or seared.
You can have salmon sashimi or white flesh sashimi such as Hiramasa kingfish or snapper. The dressing I used in this salad goes well with any of those.
I have a cookbook written by the world-famous Japanese chef, Nobu Matsuhisa. Many of the dishes in this cookbook are not home-cooking dishes, but they are great for special occasions. The presentations are magnificently artistic.
Some of the ingredients used in this cookbook are either too expensive (e.g. abalone) or too difficult to handle (e.g. live eel) for home cooking. But there are many techniques and food styling methods that I can learn from this book and I can apply them to even home-cooking dishes.
I particularly like the sauces and dressings in this book, which are easy to make. Most of them are not traditional Japanese flavours but they often have a Japanese touch and are made with unique combinations of ingredients.
Today’s salad, Tuna Sashimi Salad with Garlic Sesame Dressing is inspired by the dish in Nobu’s cookbook that is called Sashimi Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing.
My Garlic Sesame Dressing
Although I started off using Nobu’s dressing recipe for Tuna Sashimi Salad, I don’t call my dressing ‘Copycat of Matsuhisa Dressing’.
Some people who have tried his dressing might disagree, but I did not enjoy Matsuhisa Dressing (sorry Nobu!) and I had to make adjustments to his dressing.
As you already know by now, I am very sensitive to the salty flavour. Most people might find his dressing perfectly seasoned, but I felt that the Matsuhisa Dressing was too salty and also oily for me.
After adjusting this and that, what I ended up with was quite far from Nobu’s dressing. Nobu’s dressing does not contain garlic but mine does, which makes my dressing farther away from the traditional Japanese dressings. But I really like it.
There are quite a few ingredients in this dressing but all of them are pantry staples for Japanese cooking, perhaps with exception of grapeseed oil.
- Finely diced onion
- Soy sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Grated apple (optional)
- Grated roasted white sesame seeds
- Ginger juice (squeezed from grated ginger)
- Grated garlic
- Sesame oil
- Greapeseed oil
Grated apple is optional (and I forgot to include it in the ingredients photo above) but it makes the dressing milder.
What’s in Tuna Sashimi Salad
The salad ingredients are very flexible, so I added alternatives next to some of the ingredients.
- Seared sashimi tuna (tuna tataki) – a cuboid-shaped block (see the photo in the next section) is the best for searing sashimi tuna. If you are not searing, the shape and thickness of the slices do not matter, although each slice should not be too thick. Instead of tuna, you can use any sashimi quality fillets such as salmon, kingfish, snapper, bonito etc. If I was using white flesh fish such as snapper, I would not sear it since the seared trimming around the flesh does not stand out.
- Fresh green salad leaves – any combination of salad leaf will be fine. I used mixed baby salad leaves and some cos lettuce pieces.
- Mini yellow tomatoes – this is to add a bright colour to the salad. You can use red or orange tomatoes instead.
- Sliced cucumber – halve a cucumber vertically, then slice each piece diagonally, making stretched semi-circle slices. You can omit them but I think cucumber slices add a different texture to the green salad.
- Finely julienned daikon (white radish) – daikon goes well with any sashimi. Finely julienned daikon is the most used garnish for a plate of sashimi. You don’t have to have daikon, but it cleanses the palate. It also adds a different colour to the salad.
How to make Tuna Sashimi Salad
The seared sashimi tuna is made exactly in the way that is described in my post Tuna Tataki (Seared Tuna) with Ponzu. If you go to the section HOW TO MAKE TUNA TATAKI, you will find the detailed method of making tataki, including photos. The recipe card also has detailed steps to make tataki. So, I won’t repeat it here.
The most complex part of today’s salad is making Tuna Tataki, although you will find that it is not really complex. The rest of the instructions are very straight forward.
- Put all ingredients for Garlic Sesame Dressing in a jar and shake well.
- Make Tuna Tataki and slice it.
- Put the salad leaves and the cucumber slices in a bowl and mix.
- Plate the salad leaves on one side of the serving plate, leaving a small space for the tuna slices.
- Place julienned daikon on top of the salad leaves in the centre, then scatter the tomatoes.
- Place sliced Tuna Tataki next to the salad.
- Serve with the dressing.
Nobu’s Tuna Salad is not plated in my way. He spreads the salad dressing on a serving plate first, then places the salad in the centre. Seared tuna pieces are rolled individually and placed around the salad. His Tuna Tataki pieces are obviously not square, so they can be rolled.
My Tuna Sashimi Salad below is how I placed the Garlic Sesame Dressing beneath my Tuna Sashimi Salad, just like Nobu’s dish.
There is no single way of plating salad. You can be very creative. As long as it looks appetising, that’s all it matters.
Tuna Sashimi Salad with Garlic Sesame Dressing is a tasty and light salad that can become a main meal by adjusting the quantity of tuna.
The hero of Tuna Sashimi Salad is the garlic-flavoured sesame dressing, which is inspired by the dressing made by the world-famous Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa, although mine does not resemble Nob's dressing at all.
The salad can be any fresh salad leaves but including julienned daikon (white radish) gives a Japanese touch to the presentation of the salad.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 200-250g / 0.4-0.6lb sashimi tuna block (cuboid, note 1)
- Black pepper and salt (note 2)
- 2 tsp oil
- 3 cups mixed salad leaves
- 60g / 2.1oz cucumber halved vertically , then diagonally sliced thinly
- 90g / 3.2oz white radish finely julienned to 10cm long (note 3)
- 75g / 2.6oz yellow mini tomatoes halved
- 50g / 1.8oz onion finely diced
- 2⅔ tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp mirin
- 1 tbsp apple grated (optional)
- ¼ tsp garlic grated
- ½ tsp ginger juice (juice from grated ginger)
- 1½ tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds grated
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
Put all ingredients of Garlic Sesame Dressing except the oils in a jar and shake well until the sugar is dissolved. Add the oils and shake well.
Leave the julienned daikon in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes to crisp up the daikon strands. Drain and gently squeeze the water out.
Make Tuna Tataki as per the instruction ‘Tuna Tataki’ in the recipe card Tuna Tataki (Seared Tuna) with Ponzu. Please also see the photos in the post.
Mix the salad leaves and sliced cucumbers in a bowl.
Put the salad leaves and the cucumber slices in a bowl and mix.
Plate the salad leaves with cucumbers on one side of the serving plate, leaving a small space for the tuna slices (note 4).
Place julienned daikon on top of the salad leaves in the centre, then scatter the tomatoes.
Place sliced Tuna Tataki in two rows, overlapping each other.
Serve with the dressing on the side.
1. My tuna block was about 3cm x 3cm x 15cm / 1⅛" x 1⅛" x 5⅞", which makes 3cm2 / 1⅛ in2 slices. The shape of the block does not have to be an exact cuboid, providing that the size of the slice is not too large. You can even have two short blocks.
Instead of tuna, you can use sashimi quality salmon, kingfish, snapper, bonito, etc. I would not sear white flesh fish as you cannot create the stunning effect of the seared trimming around each piece. The thickness and the shape of the sashimi slices can also vary but do not make it too thick like standard sashimi.
2. The amount of pepper depends on how peppery you want the seared tuna to be.
3. If you have a very fine (1.3-1.5mm / 1⁄16") julienne slicer, that’s the easiest. Cut daikon into a 10cm long block then julienne it.
If you have a slicer that can slice vegetables to 1.3-1.5mm / 1⁄16" thick, then slice a 10cm / 4" block of daikon. Pile the sliced daikon up neatly and cut the pile very finely lengthwise to make 10cm fine strips. I used this method today.
If you don’t have a slicer or julienne slicer, you can cut a narrow 10cm 4" long daikon block and use a peeler to make thin slices, then pile several slices together and julienne them.
4. Because I used a long plate, the plating was not symmetrical. There is no right or wrong when plating the salad and tuna.
5. Nutrition per serving.
serving: 240g calories: 291kcal fat: 19g (29%) saturated fat: 2.3g (12%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 8.3g monounsaturated fat: 7.2g cholesterol: 26mg (9%) sodium: 920mg (38%) potassium: 646mg (18%) carbohydrates: 12g (4%) dietary fibre: 2.5g (10%) sugar: 6.9g protein: 19g vitamin a: 47% vitamin c: 28% calcium: 5.3% iron: 9.8%