After successive days of curry in varying shades of red, green, yellow and it comes, morning, noon and night, I really, really wanted something different. Hubby's apartment kitchen however, is kitchenphobic-bachelor-basic, with a fridge that holds marginally more than 3 bottles of water and doesn't even have an oven. It's lovely having the Indian Ocean in all its turquoise and cobalt glory outside every window here, in the Maldives, but I was really starting to miss my kitchen back home in Singapore; it may be small and it's not in the middle of the Indian Ocean but it's got everything I need, and a whole lot more than just curry, curry and more curry.

Still being here does have its moments. For instance, last night I scored some sashimi grade tuna loin for USD 10 a kilo, from a specimen that was probably still gasping, barely hours before it landed in my eager hands. Read it again....USD 10/kg. Now, weep. 

As I've mentioned before, hubby lives and works in the Maldives, tuna capital of the world, most of the year and the kids and I spend most holidays here, with him. He doesn't cook. One of the perks of his job is company provided meals as he is in the business of catering. The cooks however, have a repertoire that spans the entire length and breadth of the curry spectrum....and not much else.

So about that tuna loin.....It was beautiful, almost too beautiful to eat but eat I must, so with the rudimentary kitchen I had to work in and barely a clutch of ingredients hubby grudgingly procured for the sake of my pleasure (and his sanity), I made this slightly dated but still irresistable delight. It was all the rage in the 80s but things being as they are, it should be fashionable again anytime now. It's needless, but I'll say it anyway. The whole plate was cleared in about 2 minutes, by all present....including hubby. Not so much as a drop of dressing left. More curry till the next batch of tuna arrives *sigh*

Prep 10 mins         Cook 2 mins         Serves 1-5 (depends on how much curry you've had)


150 g sashimi grade tuna loin, trimmed
1-2 level tsp wasabi powder (depending on how hot it is)
1 1/2  Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp light soy
1/2 - 1 tsp sugar
A generous handful frisee lettuce, washed and drained
A generous handful lollo rosso, washed and drained
1 stalk spring onion (scallion) sliced or shredded


Heat a heavy based frying pan until very, very, very hot. You should be able to see waves of heat rising off the pan, mirage-like. If it isn't hot enough, the tuna will stick mercilessly and you'll end up with ragged shreds of tuna.

Put the loin in and sear it on all sides for barely 30 seconds per side. All you want is a very, very thin crust of cooked tuna all around the loin, with most of the centre still absolutely raw. Trust me, please.

Remove loin from pan and set aside while you make dressing. Combine the wasabi powder, sesame oil, lemon juice, soy and sugar and still till thoroughly combined and sugar dissolves.

Put the leaves on a large plate. Thickly or thinly slice the tuna across the grain and lay on the leaves. Drizzle the dressing over and garnish with the spring onions. Eat immediately.


Drink with : Japanese beer, sake, Sauvignon Blanc, dry Chenin Blanc, the driest sherry you can find, Fino or Manzanilla.