“Mau tuna nggak?” asked Lanny over Whatsapp, offering me tuna, three weeks ago.
“Berapa sekilo?” I replied, asking the price.
Eh? Couldn’t believe what I read. Lanny, Olive and I later met at the beach and she handed me tuna chunks she got from her friend who works with the handline fishermen (meaning they catch tuna sustainably) somewhere in Bali. What have I done to deserve this luxury food?
Alas, as I am getting younger, I forgot about it completely for weeks until Lanny asked me how I cooked the tuna. They were still in the fridge! Since I had to go to the printing house and the place where they live is nearby, thought I would make a stop at theirs to cook the tuna.
We regrouped at the legendary kedai kopi Bhineka Djaja. I was thinking we would go directly to their place, but Lanny insisted on taking us shopping at Pasar Kumbasari, next to Pasar Badung. By the way, I remember years ago, childhood friend Susi worked there. But where’s she now?
Cheonggyecheon in Seoul? No, this is Tukad Badung aka Sungai Badung in Denpasar!
We bought some coffee beans and then crossed the street to the market. We stopped at the bridge to admire the public recreational park below. Really clean and neat. Who would’ve thought the city has this! Pasar Kumbasari turns out to be an exciting place to buy arts and crafts! I often go here only for vegetables and fruits.
As if not enough with acquiring all the market had to offer to them that weekend, Olive asked me to accompany her to buy more stuff: a fan and a stove. Had she lingered a little longer, she would have bought a fridge, an iron, a blender, and God-and-she-only-know…. And then to my great relief, she gojeked a taxi.
I went straight to the kitchen and checked the tuna chunks, by the time already fully thawed. Thank goodness they were still in good condition! Separated the red chunks from the brownish ones. I prefer the former because they look more familiar. Most restaurants and supermarkets sell only the red tuna chunks. I seldom see them sell brownish chunks (parts of the back and the belly) and wondered how they taste.
Delectable Juicy Pan-Seared Sustainably Caught Tuna with Turmeric, Garlic and Cypriot Olive Oil
Lanny was busy cleaning her (to me, it was already clean) house and Olive helped me with the spices, doing what I hate the most: peeling and mincing garlic and kunyit aka turmeric. “The fresh and pleasant aroma of turmeric can help rid of the fish smell,” said Olive.
Olive instructed me to rub the tuna chunks with slices of turmeric and garlic, season the fish with salt and pepper and then pan-sear them with olive oil (“It’s the best olive oil,” said Lanny.) The aroma was heavenly rich…
Appetizing, Succulent Sustainably Caught Handline Tuna Frikandel aka Perkedel Tuna Gurih Empuk dari Tuna yang Ditangkap secara Berkelanjutan
And what should we do with think brownish chunks? I asked Olive. Perkedel tuna, she said. Tuna frikandel? Thought, never heard of it. But if we can make tofu frikandel and sweet corn frikandel, why can’t tuna? So here is her version of tuna frikadel:
Appetizing, Succulent Sustainably Caught Handline Tuna Frikandel
- Potongan tuna/Tuna chunks
- Tepung/Flour (any kind, but this time we used wheat flour)
- Bubuk pala/Nutmeg powder
- Bawang putih cincang/Minced garlic
- Garam, merica/Salt and pepper
- Daun bawang iris/Sliced leek
- Minyak goreng/Cooking oil
- Campurkan semua bahan di mangkuk besar. Mix all ingredients well in a big bowl.
- Panaskan minyak, masukkan adonan yang “dicetak” dengan sendok makan. Goreng sampai warnanya cokelat keemasan. Heat oil, pour the batter spoonful by spoonful. Fry until they turn dark gold.
Clockwise: Pan-seared Tuna, Pasta, Tuna Frikandel, Salad
One thing was missing: chilli! Fresh cut chillis will make any seafood taste better. But we did not dwell on the thought. Instead, we cut lime to spark more flavors in the tuna menu. Oh they tasted so good!