This tuna roll-up takes me back to memories of one of my first jobs in America. It’s been about 20 years now: gosh time flies by so fast! Then I managed a miniscule and extremely busy coffee shop located in the Murray Hill area of Manhattan on 3rd Avenue. We served gourmet coffee (before Starbucks invaded) and an impressive array of pastries and breads, which we carefully selected from numerous vendors. These were delivered fresh from different bakeries in town and sometimes even beyond the isle. We also made excellent sandwiches, salads and soups.
Maggie, one of the owners, was in charge of the recipes. She would come up with creatively new ideas for the food borrowing from ethnic cuisines from around the world. Just like on this blog, we featured new things all the time. It was very cool watching how surprised and delighted our clients got when spotting the next hit on display at the shop.
The hoisin chicken roll-up was an instant sensation. We served lots of them for months and the demand never slackened. Plus, as an added bonus, they were super-duper simple to make. Last week for a quick and easy dinner, I prepared this pescatarian version at home using wild tuna steaks I got from our favorite fish monger west of Manhattan
Hoisin sauce is sweet, a bit sour and salty, so the cool cucumber and veggies break some of the saltiness. The more veggies the better here, so pile them high.
grilled tuna roll-ups with hoisin sauce
1 lb wild caught tuna steak
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
8 kirby cucumbers
1 head of lettuce
5 whole scallions
½ bunch cilantro
2 sheets Lavash bread
1 tsp ground fresh ginger
Set grill to 500F. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of tuna, rub olive oil around steak. Grill for 3½ minutes, flip and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side. Remove from grill, sprinkle with a few drops of lemon, cover with aluminum foil or plastic film and let it cool. Cut into strips.
Meanwhile, wash and spin dry lettuce, scallions and cilantro. I used a salad spinner. Chop scallions and cilantro, but keep lettuce leaves whole.
Cut top off each cucumber and rub top against it to extract the bitterness. Partially peel cucumbers and soak them in cold water for about 5 minutes. Drain, pat dry and cut into spears.
Lay one Lavash bread on counter top. Squeeze hoisin sauce over it. On one end of lavash bread pile several leaves of lettuce, cucumber spears, scallions , cilantro, ginger and strips of tuna, roll it and cut in half. Repeat process for another sandwich. Serve.
The tuna steak was way too big for us eat so we shared some with Clarence, which he devoured with gusto.