Here the texture and flavor of the tuna belly are heightened by quickly searing the outside surfaces. The slices are then paired with the sweetness and acidity of yuzu miso dressing and the kick of salsa.
Servings: Serves 2
Den Miso
  • 6 1/2 Tbsp. sake
  • 6 1/2 Tbsp. mirin
  • 10 ounces white miso paste
  • 3/4 cup sugar
Yuzu Miso Sauce
  • 1/2 ounce yuzu* peel
  • 2/3 cup Den Miso
  • 2 Tbsp. (about) rice vinegar
Jalapeno Salsa
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped jalape??o chili
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 Tbsp. and 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 tsp. salt
Toro (tuna belly)
  • 3 ounces boneless, skinless fresh toro (tuna belly), in a block
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. Jalapeño Salsa
  • A few blanched, skinned fava beans , for garnish
To make Den Miso: Put the sake and mirin in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes to evaporate off the alcohol. Over medium heat, add the miso paste to the pan a little at a time so that it blends into a smooth sauce.

Turn up the heat and add the sugar in 2 or 3 batches and continue stirring so the mixture does not burn. When the sugar completely dissolves, remove the pan from the heat and leave the mixture to cool to room temperature. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

To make Yuzu Miso Sauce: To make the sauce, blend the yuzu peel to a pulp in a food processor and strain off the juice, pressing it to get as much out as you can. Mix this into the miso and then add just enough of the vinegar to get a consistency that will coat the back of a spoon.

To make Jalapeno Salsa: Combine all the ingredients and mix well.

To make Toro Miso: Season the tuna with black pepper. Heat a nonstick skillet until very hot and quickly sear each side of the tuna, making sure the outside is completely seared and that no red meat is visible. Plunge it immediately into ice water to stop the cooking process, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Flood the base of a serving dish with the sauce. Slice the tuna across into slices 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick and arrange them so that they overlap in the middle of the plate. Spoon a little of the salsa over the top and garnish with the fava beans.

Notes: Be sure to plunge the toro immediately into ice water after searing to prevent it from overcooking.

To spread a sauce evenly around the base of a plate, put the sauce in the middle and carefully tilt the plate so it runs to the edges.

*Yuzu: Japanese citron (Citrus junos) is zestier than lemons and not as sweet. Yuzu also has a very potent fragrance. It is used for both its acidic juice and its aromatic peel. Yuzu juice can be found in Asian supermarkets.