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Stealing From the Restaurant: Tuna Burger with Teriyaki Aioli

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When John Montagu, First Lord of the Admiralty and avowed Satanist (!), asked his valet to slap a hunk of meat between two slices of bread in 1762, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich could hardly have known that almost 250 years later a restaurant in Boca Raton would nestle a juicy slab of grilled tuna inside a bun smeared with teriyaki aioli, then top it with a crunchy, Asian-style slaw in much the same the manner as the pulled pork sandwiches of the American South. 

Like, duh. . . 

Anyway, that's what Max's Grille in Boca's sprawling Mizner Park did, and though it's no longer on the menu, it's still a damn good sammie--easy to make, not too heavy, and tasty as hell. So give it a try. 

Tuna Burger with Teriyaki Aioli and Asian Slaw from Max's Grille 
2 T. each, soy sauce and mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 1/8-inch thick piece ginger, peeled and smashed
1 T. brown sugar
3 T. mayonnaise
1 lb. tuna steak, cut in half lengthwise to ¾-inch thickness
1 t. togarashi (Japanese spice blend)
2 sesame buns
¼ head cabbage
20 snow peas
1 large carrot
2 green onions
1 T. rice wine vinegar
1 T. peanut butter
2 T. peanut oil
1½ T. sesame oil
1 t. each, oyster sauce and sriracha
1 t. sugar
Salt & pepper to taste 

For

aioli: Place soy, mirin, garlic, ginger and sugar in small saucepan and

over medium-low heat, reduce to approximately one tablespoon (the

thickness of maple syrup). (If you over-reduce it and it hardens,

reheat gently and add a tablespoon of water to thin.) Let cool and mix

with mayonnaise. (Easy cheating version: reduce 3 T. bottled teriyaki

sauce to 1 T., then mix in with mayo.) 

For tuna: Brush both

steaks with 1 T. peanut oil, then sprinkle with togarashi. Set aside

until read to grill.  For slaw: Julienne cabbage with sharp knife,

coarsely grate carrot, sliver green onions on the diagonal. Place in

bowl. Blanch snow peas in boiling salted water for two minutes, drain,

shock in cold water and when cool, julienne on the diagonal. Add to

other vegetables in bowl.  

For dressing: Whisk vinegar, oils,

peanut butter, oyster and sriracha sauces, sugar, salt and pepper in

small bowl until combined and smooth. Pour over shredded vegetables and

refrigerate until ready. 

To serve: Grill tuna over high heat

or sear in hot skillet, one minute each side for medium-rare. Toast

buns in oven or toaster, spread with aioli, add tuna and top with slaw

(you'll have leftovers). Eat.

(BTW, next week's wine that doesn't suck,

the 2008 Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rosé, is an excellent accompaniment.)


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