Teriyaki-seared tuna loin with grilled baby fennel salad, banana chutney and coconut sago pearls

This light salad, with layers of beautifully complex Asian flavours, comes courtesy of Grant Cullingworth, executive chef at The Westin Cape Town.

Serves: 4


20g peeled and julienne daikon
20g blanched and shelled edamame beans
30g peppers (red and yellow), julienne
20g peeled and julienne carrot
25g thinly sliced baby fennel
5g dried pomegranate seeds
10g julienne pickled ginger
3g white sesame seeds
5ml lemon juice
5ml sushi vinegar
1g wasabi powder
5g honey
3ml fish sauce
10ml soy sauce
50ml olive oil
4 tuna steaks(loin), cleaned and portioned
3g chopped coriander leaves
3g chopped parsley
3g peeled and chopped
200 ml teriyaki sauce
25ml fresh lemon juice
100g banana
5g mint
15g brown sugar
30ml white wine vinegar
2g grated ginger
2g chopped chilli
2g chopped stick lemongrass
5g chopped spring onion
100g sago pearls
300ml miso soup
100ml coconut milk
5g ginger
5g coriander
salt and pepper


For the salad 
Combine the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk well to emulsify. Chargrill the fennel on a hot griddle pan and deglaze with a little of the vinaigrette. Remove from pan and reserve. Place the ingredients in to a bowl, lightly season and dress with the vinaigrette.

For the tuna
Portion the tuna in 130g pieces and reserve. Combine the herbs, teriyaki sauce and lemon juice to form a marinade, place in a sealable bag with the portioned tuna and marinade until needed. Remove tuna from marinade and seal off on all sides in a hot pan, taking care not to overcook the fish.

For the sago 
Soak sago pearls in water for approximately 20 minutes then drain off. Cook in the miso stock until translucent and tender, take off heat, drain and allow to cool. Sweat off the garlic, chilli and ginger then add the coconut cream and bring to the boil. Add the sago pearls to the pot and cook until a creamy thick consistency. Season to taste. For the banana chutney Add all the ingredients, except half of the bananas, and bring to a boil in a saucepan on high heat. Blend at a high speed, strain, and set aside. Chop the other half of the bananas and add that to the chutney mix.

To serve 
Spoon the creamed sago on to the plate and drag. Slice the seared tuna and arrange on the creamed sago, then spoon a little of the banana chutney on top. Place the dressed salad alongside the tuna and garnish with the grilled fennel, crisp beetroot chips and toasted sesame.

Recipe by Grant Cullingworth, executive chef at The Westin Cape Town.

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