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Bowl with seared Japanese tuna on a bed of green beans, potatoes and sliced egg
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5 from 8 votes

Japanese tuna nicoise with yuzu miso vinaigrette

A Japanese inspired riff on a classic French salad that brings in the great taste of yuzu.
Prep Time20 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese tuna, tuna nicoise, yuzu miso vinaigrette
Servings: 2
Calories: 390kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


Yuzu miso vinaigrette

  • 1 1/2 tsp yuzu juice (or lemon juice. See note.)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil - break out the good stuff
  • 1 tsp shiro miso white miso
  • 1 tsp water
  • pinch sugar to taste (depends on how tart your yuzu juice is). You may need more.
  • a few grinds of black pepper

Japanese tuna nicoise

  • 10 oz tuna steaks two small steaks - each 5 ounces and cut about 1 inch thick
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz small new potatoes
  • 6 oz green beans the smallest, freshest ones you can get
  • the yuzu miso dressing
  • a little fleur de sel to spinkle if you have it
  • white sesame seeds to garnish


Make your vinaigrette

  • Don't use a metal bowl to make your vinaigrette. I don't know why it doesn't ever work but it doesn't. I can never get the dressing to emulsify in metal.
  • Add the yuzu juice and dijon mustard. Mix with a teaspoon until combined.
  • Drizzle the olive oil in slowly, stirring constantly and vigourously with the spoon. You want an emulsification. It should happen. Just take your time.
  • Add the shiro miso. Smush it under the spoon. Chase it around. You want to get it to dissolve into the emulsion.
  • It will be pretty thick at this point. Add about a teaspoon of cool water and stir.
  • Stir in a pinch of sugar. Taste. It will likely be a little tart. That's OK. If it's really tart add a little more sugar.
  • A couple of grinds of black pepper and you are good to go.

Cook the potatoes

  • Do this after you make your vinaigrette. The potatoes will cook while you do everything else.
  • Put the potatoes in a sauce pan and cover them with salted water.
  • Bring to a lively simmer and cover.
  • Let cook until they are fork tender. I can't tell you how long this takes because I don't know how big your potatoes are.
  • Start checking them after about 15 minutes. When they are fork tender drain and set aside. They go into the salad warm.

Perfect hardboiled eggs

  • While the potatoes cook place the eggs in a small saucepan. Cover the eggs with one inch of cool water. You want the water one inch higher than the eggs.
  • Bring the water to a boil (uncovered) over medium high heat.
  • As soon as it boils, cover the sauce pan and move off the heat. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
  • At the 8 minute mark grab a fairly large bowl. Fill with cold water and toss in a some ice cubes.
  • At the 10 minute mark remove the eggs from the hot water and submerge them in the ice bath. If the ice melts and starts to disappear add more. Swirl the water. You want to stop the eggs continuing to cook.
  • Peel and refrigerate. You can do this ahead of time of course.

Blanch the beans

  • Take that sauce pan you used to cook the eggs. It should still have the hot water in it. Toss in a big pinch of salt.
  • Add the beans. Cook for around 3 or 4 minutes. You want them barely tender.
  • Once they are to your liking use tongs or a big slotted spoon transfer the beans to the bowl you used for the eggs. Add a bit more ice. Again, you want to stop the cooking process. Drain when cool and set aside.

Prep the salad

  • You will want everything ready to go when you grill the tuna. The goal will be to drop the cooked fish on the salad, garnish and serve.
  • Toss the beans and the potatoes with the vinaigrette.
  • Slice the egg - around 3/16 of an inch thick. Push the slices back together in an egg shape to keep the yolks from drying out.
  • Plate the salad. Beans and potatoes first. Egg to one side. Have your plates lined up on the counter for when you get back from the grill.

Cook the tuna

  • Rub the tuna with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Prepare your grill. I like charcoal for this. You want it hot. Think under one Mississippi. Your hand cannot stay over the heat for even one second.
  • Make sure your grates are clean. Wipe them with a bit of oil. Sticking tuna is not going to be any fun at all. You do get two tries though - only one side faces up.
  • Place the tuna directly over the heat. Watch the lower edge. You want that change of colour to be about 1/8 of an inch up the side. Maybe a bit more but barely. Flip the fish. Again around 1/8 of an inch up the side. That's it. Fish is done. Seared on the outside and hopefully just barely warm on the inside.
    This can go fast. As little as 90 seconds to 2 minutes on the first side. Probably less on the second side.
  • You can do this in a frying pan as well. Something that holds heat and not non-stick. Dry heat your pan over medium high heat. Make sure the fish is well oiled. Around 90 seconds on the first side. Maybe 60 seconds on the second side. Done.
  • Place one piece of fish on each plate. Sprinkle with a bit of fleur de sel if using. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve.


Yuzu is a taste unto itself. There are no direct substitutes. Meyer lemons are close. A mix of fresh lemon and orange is close. So is a mix of lemon and grapefruit. This dish works with any of those or even just lemon juice.


Serving: 2g | Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 1035mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3690IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 3mg