Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bigeye Tuna Stir-Fry with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Bigeye tuna steaks are meaty and mild-flavored and stand up well to grilling or other fast, high-temperature cooking. Cousins of yellowfin, bigeye tunas are found throughout warm or temperate ocean waters, and in Hawaii, they’re one of two species called “ahi”—the other is cousin yellowfin.

Bigeye Tuna
Stir-fry, of course, is another fast, high-temp cooking method, and that’s why I chose bigeye to bring heartiness to the dish while still keeping it lean and nutritious. Sliced thinly, the tuna doesn’t need much time in the pan—stirred in toward the end is good enough to finish it to a delicious medium-rare.

This tuna stands up to a boldly flavored sauce as well—here, sweet and sour with a little spice.

Note: I used Japanese buckwheat noodles in this recipe, but lighter rice noodles would work well too.

Also note: Shishito peppers are a mild Japanese variety. If you can’t find them, simply substitute half a green bell pepper, thinly sliced.

Japanese Buckwheat Noodles

Shishito Peppers
Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth (or water)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch 
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 Thai chiles, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 shishito peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks baby bok choy, chopped (including leaves)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, (white and dark green parts separated)
  • 3 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach (or coarsely chopped regular spinach)
  • 1 cup shaved, peeled carrot
  • 4 oz buckwheat noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 12-oz bigeye tuna steak, cut into very thin strips

Stir-Fry Vegetables

Sliced Tuna
  1. Whisk the honey, soy sauce, lime juice, vinegar, chili garlic sauce, and brown sugar in a medium bowl, stirring well to dissolve the sugar and honey. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the vegetable broth and cornstarch in a separate bowl. Set aside and whisk again just before using.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
  1. Heat a wok (or deep skillet) over medium-high heat and add the peanut oil. Add the chiles, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry 1 minute.
  2. Add the peppers and bok choy and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add the white parts of the scallions and the mushrooms and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the spinach and carrot and stir-fry 1 minute.
  3. Re-whisk the broth-cornstarch slurry and stir into the reserved sauce. Add the cooked noodles and tuna, tossing gently to combine until the sauce is slightly thickened and the tuna is medium-rare, 1-2 minutes.

Chiles, Garlic, and Ginger

Peppers and Bok Choy

Scallions and Mushrooms

Spinach and Carrot

Cooked, Drained Noodles

Noodles and Tuna Added
Divide the wok mixture among 4 shallow bowls and garnish with the dark green parts of the scallions. Serve right away.

Bigeye Tuna Stir-Fry with Sweet and Sour Sauce

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