Project Pok Pok Cookbook: Yam Tuna

tunasalad

This dish has transformed how I will make tuna salad forever. I mean, it’s just as easy with ten times the wow factor. Don’t take my word for it — it will be just as simple for you to make.

Here’s how:

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (key limes or spike the lime with a squeeze of Meyer lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon Naam Cheuam Naam Taan Piip (Palm Simple Syrup)
  • about 2 tablespoons of lightly packed peeled ginger, cut into long thin strips (1 1/2″ x 1/8″)
  • about a tablespoon of garlic, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • about 4 Thai chilies, preferably green, thinly sliced

Salad:

  • 1 can solid light tuna packed in water, drained and broken into large chunks
  • 4 – 5 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 stalk thinly sliced lemongrass, tender parts only
  • 2 tablespoons of peeled yellow onion, thinly sliced along the grain
  • 1 tablespoon of coarsely chopped cilantro, thin stems and leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon of thinly sliced green onions, lightly packed

Make the Dressing:

  • Combine fish sauce, lime juice, simple syrup, ginger, garlic and chilies in a medium pot, set over medium heat and heat the mixture until it’s warm to the touch, about 15 seconds or so. Turn off the heat.

Assemble the Salad:

  • Add remaining ingredients to the pot with the dressing and toss gently but well. Transfer the salad, liquid and all, to a plate in a heap, and serve.

YUM.

Whole 30: Day 15

Man, this project is taking forever. I can’t say I won’t be happy when it’s finally time to move on to my next project.

The thing is, though…I’m feeling really good. Like, really really good. So, the project continues. Also, what’s the point in getting this far along if you aren’t going to get the answers that you’re looking for? So, pressing on.

This morning we had an early morning work thing at our local food coop. Yes, the infamous Park Slope Food Coop. So, we decided to grab some apples and jerky and make that breakfast.

Of course, the best part of working at the food coop is shopping at the food coop afterwards. I thought I did really particularly well this time around.

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Out of this, came an inspired and simple lunch:

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Made up some tuna salad, plopped it on a bed of salad greens, threw on some cherry tomatoes and splashed some Ume vinegar on the greens. Delicious.

For dinner I went a little more complicated. I had some gorgeous monk fish, and my favorite thing to do with it is make it into a mustard curry. So, I did that. I got the recipe from Mermaid’s Garden, where we have a weekly fish share. It’s pretty terrific. I alter fish for what’s on hand and also sometimes will do okra instead of cauliflower or swap out jalapeño for whatever hot peppers I have. If I’m in the mood for spicy I’ll up the amount of those hot peppers, and if not I’ll keep it as written. Usually I like to eat it with naan…but since that’s out this time around I opted for slightly less spicy since there was no starch to help numb the spice. I thought it turned out perfect. Also! This is a recipe that seems intimidating: it is really not! Pretty simple as long as you have everything prepped and ready to go. And you need the curry leaves. That’s pretty much what makes the whole dish. Recipe below:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound firm fleshed fish fillet, cut into two inch chunks
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onion
  • 4 cups tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (or 4 tablespoons of ghee)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 1 each dried arbol chile
  • 12 each  curry leaves
  • 1 tsp.garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp. fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp. jalapeno, seeded & chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine (I subbed this for extra chicken stock cause Whole 30)
  • 2 cups fish or chicken stock or 1 cup bottled clam juice mixed with 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. coriander Seed, toasted & ground
  • ¼ tsp tumeric
  • ¼ tsp. allepo or cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 cup okra or cauliflower, sliced in ½” pieces
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

  1. Warm a sauté pan over medium heat. Add half of the oil or ghee and the onions. Cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes dry out and darken in color, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and puree in a blender.
  2. Heat the remaining oil or ghee over medium heat in a deep heavy pan such as a dutch oven. Add the cloves and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and arbol chile and cook until the mustard seeds start to pop.
  3. Add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger and jalapeno to the pan. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the white wine (if using), tomato-onion puree and stock. Bring this to a low simmer for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the coriander, tumeric, Allepo/cayenne pepper and mustard powder to the pan.
  5. Season the fish all over with salt and pepper. Add the okra or cauliflower to the pan and cover. One minute later add the fish. Re-cover the pan and increase the heat to high for two minutes, then turn off the heat and allow it to sit covered for 6 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and add the cilantro.

I have made this a number of times and it is always outstandingly delicious.