Seared Tuna with Olive Sauce


1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, pulsed to fine in a food processor
3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce each) skinless tuna steaks (3/4 inch thick)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 whole chayote, julienned
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into julienne
3 tablespoons minced shallots
16 martini olives, pitted, drained, and sliced crosswise
3 thyme sprigs
1/4 cup gin
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
fine sea salt


  1. Stir the breadcrumbs and pepper together in a bowl. Spread the mixture out on a large plate. Coat the tuna with the mixture by pressing all sides of each steak on the plate, pressing down so the coating adheres.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Cook the tuna in the pan without crowding until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn the steaks over and cook on the other side for about 2 minutes for rare, 3 for medium-rare. Remove the tuna to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Set aside.
  3. Add the chayote to the pan, raise the heat to high, and wilt for 1 minute. Add the carrot and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shallots, olives, thyme, gin, and vermouth, stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil, and let boil for 1 minute to reduce slightly. Stir in the butter, season with salt and pepper, and remove the pan from the heat. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove and discard the thyme sprigs.
  4. To serve, slice each tuna steak in half. Arrange some of the sauteed vegetables in the center of each of 4 plates and stack 2 steak halves on top. Drizzle some sauce around the fish on each plate and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Nightly Specials

Crab Cake Burger

Snow crab is used to make the crab cake, which is flavoured by two sauces.

The burger is available for a limited time for 590 Yen from Freshness Burger Japan.

In Pictures: Foods of Alfafa Restaurant, Hong Kong

European Cuisine

The Restaurant

Research Shows Weight Loss and Improved Cholesterol Levels with Walnut-rich Diet

A walnut-rich, higher fat diet showed comparable weight loss to a lower fat, higher carbohydrate diet among overweight and obese women.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that a diet containing unsaturated fats, such as those found in walnuts and olive oil, has similar weight loss effects as a lower fat, higher-carbohydrate diet.1 The research, led by Dr. Cheryl Rock of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, also showed that a diet containing walnuts, which are primarily comprised of polyunsaturated fats, positively impacts heart health markers, such as cholesterol.

“One of the surprising findings of this study was that even though walnuts are higher in fat and calories, the walnut-rich diet was associated with the same degree of weight loss as a lower fat diet,” said Dr. Rock. “Considering the results of this study, as well as previous walnut research on heart health and weight, there’s something to be said for eating a handful of walnuts a day.”

To reach their findings, the research team studied 245 overweight and obese women (22-72 years old) enrolled in a one-year behavioral weight loss intervention. Participants were randomly assigned to three different diets: 1) a lower fat and higher carbohydrate diet, 2) a lower carbohydrate and higher fat diet, or 3) a walnut-rich, higher fat and lower carbohydrate diet. Those prescribed a walnut-rich diet consumed 1.5 ounces per day. Looking at data from the first six months of the intervention, this study found that the average weight loss was nearly eight percent of initial weight for all groups.

The walnut-rich diet participants saw comparable weight loss to the other study groups; however, they exhibited the most improvement in lipid levels, especially in those who are insulin-resistant. In addition to a significant decrease in LDL cholesterol, the walnut participants achieved a greater increase in HDL cholesterol as compared to the other diet groups.

Whereas the lower carbohydrate and higher fat diet participants were encouraged to consume foods higher in monounsaturated fats, the walnut-rich diet provided more polyunsaturated fats. Walnuts are the only nut in which the fat is primarily polyunsaturated fat (13g/oz), including a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-derived form of omega-3 fatty acids (2.5g/oz).

Recent research from Harvard also shows health benefits of consuming polyunsaturated fats. The study suggested that people who replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats may live longer and have a lower risk of heart disease. Additionally, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend consumption of polyunsaturated fats as a replacement for saturated fats.

There are some study limitations that should be considered. The sample only included women, so these results may not be generalizable to men. Although 245 participants were enrolled, the sample sizes for comparisons were reduced because the participants were divided into subgroups. In addition, there is a lack of detailed information about dietary intake and adherence to the diets. Considering the weight loss that was seen in participants, it seems that most were adhering to a reduced calorie diet.

“In addition to these findings, we hope to explore the effect of walnuts on satiety, as we believe satiety is a critical factor for maintaining weight loss,” said Dr. Rock.

Source: EurekAlert!

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