Tuna Steaks – guide to cooking and serving


Tuna steaks should be cut thick, about 3-4cm per steak. Remove skin first and shape loin removing any sinew if you wish.
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Never overcook tuna, it ruins its beautiful texture and can dry it out. Serve it like a very rare beef steak. Sear in a pan, hot plate, or barbecue rib plate (creates nice seared lines). Use an oil with high flash point like grape seed and brush or spay oil onto steaks. Sear for one minute each side (add a minute each side if you can’t face overly rare tuna). If you like it warm in the middle preheat an oven to 200 C and transfer to the oven for 3mins (be very careful as any longer will cook it through).
pan cooking bbq cooking

Tuna steaks are best served with some form of dressing to enhance their flavour and texture. With the right dressing they are devine. Try one of the below or even a combination. The Tomato salsa served under the steak and the Aioli on top works well.

Tomato Salsa

Lightly crush 400gms of baby tomatoes in a deep bowl. Add ½ cup finely chopped coriander, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 3 Tbsp sweet rice wine, juice of 1 small lemon, sea salt and pepper, combine all and roughly mix together.

Wasabi Aioli

1 cup good quality mayo (brand “real mayonnaise”, which is creamy and very mild, alternatively make your own), 1 to 2 tsp of pure NZ wasabi, juice of 1 lemon, 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil. Mix all together by hand. Taste and adjust to suit. Refrigerate ready for serving.

Anchovy Cream

Heat 1Tbsp Olive oil in pan, add 2 cloves crushed garlic and 6 anchovy fillets. Dissolve slowly over medium low heat (watch the heat as they can get messy). Once softened and garlic cooked, take off the heat and add 200mls of cream, juice of 1 lemon. Stir in together and refrigerate ready to be served.
Sake Salsa

Combine 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 2 Tbsp grape seed oil, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp sake, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar. Mix all together, refrigerate before serving.

Ponzu Sauce

Mix 2 parts soy sauce with 1 part lemon juice and 1 part orange juice.

Tuna Marinade

Mix 2 parts soy sauce with 1 part sesame oil, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part orange juice, and 1/3rd cup fresh grated ginger. (refrigerate steaks in mixture for 1hr or more).


Try coating your tuna steaks with sesame seeds to give them a slightly different crunchy texture. Mix 5 Tbsp of sesame seeds and 2 tsp of coriander seeds (roughly crushed) and place on a flat plate. Take 1 egg white and lightly beat it. Then brush steaks with egg white. Press the steaks into the seed mixture on both sides. Then cook as above.

Melon or Mango and Tuna Tar Tare

Any left over tuna or off cuts can be used in this salsa. Also the skin once removed can be scraped with a teaspoon to remove the left over flesh. Dice fresh melon or mango; add to the scraped or diced tuna. You can also add a fresh diced chilli and herbs if you wish. Eat as is or try as a dressing on top of a seared steak.

Recipe: Gourmet Seafood Chef

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