Recipe: Grilled Sugarcane Tuna with Rum Glaze
So, on Tuesday night (4/26 @ 9pm ET) is the Tropics Show– a gorgeous hybrid that we created out of several unreleased scenes from some Bizarre Foods and the best of the Bizarre Worlds. Pay close attention to the Villages of Toledo scene and the amazing family meal we had there.
Here is a great recipe as well, inspired by several trips to that part of the world. The sauce is one I adapted from an old Chris Idone or Chris Schlesinger recipe, I forget which. Both of those guys are geniuses at this kind of stuff and their cookbooks reflect it. Anyway, I changed some of it up a little over the years. This is one of those dishes that is syncretic in the sense that its not native Belizean cooking, but accurately represents the best of modern cooking from that country. All the Chinese and island-style points are a large part of Belizean culture and feel free to use any firm steak fish (this dish works well with swordfish for example) that you have access to.
The sauce is addictive, and works well with chicken. The recipe calls for a grill pan, but as often as not I grill this outside and simply drizzle sauce at the table. The sauce is a tad sweet, so passing limes at table is mandatory. I should also tell you that serving the dish with some grilled pineapple and white rice is pretty standard in our house.
Grilled Sugarcane Tuna with Rum Glaze
For the Tuna:
3# center cut sashimi grade tuna, trimmed and cut into squares about 5 or 6 ounces in size
One 12-inch section of sugarcane, trimmed free of ‘bark’ cut into six pointed skewers about 6 or 7 inches long, and about a quarter inch in diameter…pierce the tuna through the center and refrigerate the fish.
For the glaze:
1 cup coconut milk (canned is just fine, make sure it is unsweetened)
2 star anise buds
1 small stick of cinnamon
1 whole dried hot chile
quarter cup soy sauce
half cup dark rum (Myers or Barabancourt work well and are readily available)
half T whole black peppercorns
quarter cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup Coco-Lopez
Combine glaze ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat and reduce, simmering, by half. Strain and reserve.
In a large grill pan over high heat place 1T of canola oil. Season the tuna with salt and pepper.
When oil is “smiling” and aromatic, and almost smoking add the tuna pieces, turning quickly, searing well on all sides. Then turn, every minute or so, for four minutes. Pull pan from heat.
Begin drizzling with the glaze to coat as the tuna cooks for a minute or so more, serve at medium rare with pan fried ripe plantains (maduros) browned in butter, sliced limes and plenty of Marie Sharpes hot sauce, the national condiment of Belize and one of my faves.