Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad

Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad

It’s February and pretty cold here in Scotland but today we had our first really nice day’s weather of 2017 so it made me think that we all need a bit of love and caring in this kind of weather but with a spring twist. This blood orange and seared tuna quinoa salad is a perfect spring’s salad dish but is also perfect for boosting your immune system.

I always remember the first time I tried blood orange was when I travelled to Paris with my friends and they served blood orange in a restaurant we went to. I immediately thought “wow, this is a huge orange” and I loved it’s beautiful ruby colour but I had no idea what it was. After I took a bite I loved it’s taste and when I went back to Taiwan I only found out the name.

So what does blood orange taste like? It’s not sour at all and the taste is somewhere between an orange and grapefruit but it’s naturally sweet. My husband won’t touch fruit at all but he tried a little blood orange today and he loved it.

I love to scan through websites like Pinterest and Food Gawker for ideas for new things to try and if I ever pop into Marks and Spencer’s or Waitrose I’ll pick up one of their food magazines. It seems everywhere I look blood oranges are in fashion so I wanted to try blood orange here. Remember the same fruit in one country can taste completely different in another country. Dragon fruit is a perfect example, in China and Taiwan it tastes amazing but in the UK not so.

I also came down with a cold recently so eating a little extra vitamin C isn’t a bad thing.

So I made this “Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad” for my lunch. It seems blood orange is pretty hard to get hold of here but thankfully Waitrose sold them (Waitrose is really good for buying fruit). If you can’t get hold of blood orange then you could use a grapefruit or orange instead.

In my previous blog post I also mentioned I live really close to possibly the best fishmonger in Edinburgh, Eddie’s Seafood market, so I bought several pieces of really beautiful tuna from them. I also found a “white, black and red quinoa seed mix” in Waitrose. Compared to regular quinoa, black quinoa is a little chewier so there’s a real combination of textures when you mix the tuna with three different types of quinoa, pomegranate, feta cheese and the blood orange.

I decided to coat the tuna with black and white sesame seeds so this dish is incredibly healthy. It’s full of energy, protein and a lot of nutrition. If you don’t like or can’t eat tuna (pregnant for example, you can replace the tuna with over kinds of dish. Examples could include sea bream, pan-fried seabass etc.

So here’s my winter warming, spring thinking, blood orange and seared tuna quinoa salad.

blood orange
blood orange
Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad
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Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad

Course Salad
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 155 g quinoa
  • 310 ml water
  • 500 g tuna
  • 2 blood oranges peel and slice
  • 4 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 handful salad leaves
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • 5 mint leaves fresh and chopped finely

Marinade for Tuna

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp mirin

Dressing

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 blood orange

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients for marinading the tuna into a deep plate or bowl and mix evenly. Place tuna into the bowl and gently coat the tuna with all the marinade. Leave it to marinade in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Occasionally turn the tuna while marinading so the flavour will be even on every side of the tuna. 

  2. Coat the tuna with black and white sesame seeds and wrap in cling film individually and leave in the freezer for 20 minutes to set. 

  3. Cook the quinoa by following the instructions on the packaging. 

  4. Mix the seasonings for the dressing in a small mixing bowl. 

  5. Mix 2 tablespoons of dressing with quinoa and check the seasonings. If you like a strong flavour then add more salt or pepper. 

  6. Remove the cling film from the tuna and heat up some oil in a skillet or frying pan. Sear the tuna 40-50 seconds on each side and remove from the pan. 

  7. Toss the quinoa, salad leaves, pomegranate and dressing together. 

  8. Slice the tuna. 

  9. Garnish step 7 with the sliced tuna, sliced blood orange, mint and feta cheese. It’s ready to serve. 

Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad
Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad
Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad
Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad
Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad

Mango and Beef Rice Noodle Salad

Rice noodles are a very popular ingredient not only in Chinese cuisine but also in many other different Asian countries. You can stir-fry them, add them into a soup and you can also make a delicious rice noodle salad with all kinds of different ingredients.

So today I’m sharing with you this delicious sweet and sour “mango and beef rice noodle salad” recipe. This recipe is not an authentic “Chinese” recipe as such but I was inspired by the flavours of South Eastern Asian cuisine for this dish. If yu’re not a fan of beef then you can replace it with chicken, pork or even different kinds of seafood including mussels, prawns, fish, crabmeat and more.

I soak the rice noodles in cold water for around 15 minutes to soften them before I blanch them in boiling water. This will help the rice noodles to cook better. If you like your rice noodles a bit softer then just cook them a little longer in the boiling water. Equally if you like your noodles a little al dente, cook for less time. You can also have a look at this article to get information on how to cook different kinds of Chinese/Asian noodles. “Asian Noodles-types of Asian noodles and cooking time”.

You can also use different vegetable for this dish. You don’t have to stick with carrots, mung beans sprouts or bok choy. You can add pepper, napa cabbage, spring onion, salad leaves or different kind of bean sprouts. I would personally stick with using mango for this dish rather than other kind of fruit. Because this dish needs the smell and taste of mango to give it a kick.

I will use lean beef for stir-fry or minute steak in this dish. You can also use sirloin or other parts of the beef if you fancy. You can also adjust the amount of seasonings to suit your personal taste.

This is a dish I make very often at home because it’s just so easy to make. It’s also delicious and full of nutrition from all the vegetables, meat and fruit.

A bit of update with my life:

Since I graduated from university and quit my part time job, I have been super busy. My illustration business has turned really busy and I literally have never been this busy before. For example, this month I’m working on 6 projects with 2 projects at the beginning of the month, 2 projects are my regular monthly work and I have another 2 projects to work on at the end of the month. So I’m juggling all of these projects, this food writing job, family and of course my food blog. This is why, especially now, that I’m focusing a lot on “weeknight dinners” and “life saving recipes for a career mom” type of recipes. Chris, my husband, is out almost all the time with either work or college so he never has time to cook so right now we’re having ready meals and takeaways at least a couple nights each week.

But I’m not complaining at all! I love being busy and I love working in my dream job! I love working as an illustrator and I’m over the moon with my illustration business booming as it is now. I feel like all the hard work, studying and looking after my family in the past 5 years is finally paying off. Now I just need to find more time to cook for my food blog, so wish me luck!

mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad
mango and beef rice noodle salad

 

mango and beef rice noodle salad
5 from 1 vote
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Mango and Beef Rice Noodle Salad


Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 280 g lean beef julienne it
  • 125 g rice noodle
  • 140 g mango julienne it
  • 85 g carrot julienne it
  • 85 g mung bean sprouts remove the roots
  • 85 g bok choy julienne it

Marinade for beef

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp potato starch or corn flour
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • Pinch ground black pepper

Ingredients for dressing

  • 1/2 tbsp mint chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp basil chopped and preferably Thai basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 chili remove seed and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 lime juice only
  • 1/2 tbsp demerara sugar or caster sugar

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and leave aside.
  2. Soak rice noodles in cold water to soften them first.
  3. Marinade beef for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Boil a medium saucepan of water and blanch carrot and mung bean spouts. Cool down in ice water immediately. Drain and leave aside.
  5. Use the same water to blanch the rice noodles for 3-5 minutes. You can adjust the time in which you blanch the noodles if you want them softer or more al dente. This is entirely up to you.
  6. Soak the rice noodles in cold water to cool down immediately. Drain and leave aside.
  7. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet or wok and stir-fry the beef for 30 seconds. Turn off the fire and leave aside.
  8. Mix all the ingredients with some dressing evenly. Season with some salt if need it. Ready to serve.
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