Simon’s Szechuan Tuna with Sesame Slaw

Photographer: Adam
Serves 8 as a starter

Simon, one of our cooking chief engineers, is a real foodie.  He is often in the office kitchen whipping up something delicious.  Previously he shared with us his Pea Shoot Pesto, this time he has this really simple and more-ish Szechuan Tuna with Sesame Slaw:

 “My new favourite entertaining-guests recipe.  It’s easy to prepare, is served at room temperature and is really easy to scale up to serve bigger numbers. It’s something of a re-interpretation and simplification of a fantastic starter that the chef at a local restaurant created for a team dinner.  I’ve made it a couple of times when we’ve hosted dinner in the office; we had engineering colleagues from Italy and the board of directors (which was a meal for 35 people) come to visit our Dunedin site recently.  It went down very well both times and a number of people have asked for the recipe so I figured I’d share it through the blog.”


One eighth of a red cabbage
½ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt

2 Tuna steaks (about 400g total)
3 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
3 tsp salt


1. Slice the cabbage. Toast sesame seeds in a pan until golden.
2. Mix the dressing ingredients, adjusting to taste. The taste part is important, so make it how you like it. I used a Japanese mayo that was really creamy but also has some sharpness already.
3. Mix everything together. Slaw done.

1. Grind up the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and mix with the salt.
2. Coat the top and bottom of the tuna with the salt and Szechuan mix.
3. Drop into a medium-hot pan until just the first couple of millimetres of the tuna are cooked (only 20 seconds or so). Flip it and do the same on the other side.
4. Remove to a wooden board. Slice very thinly.
Plate up with a blob of slaw topped with slices of tuna.