Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Asian Tuna Steak

Ever since I was young I've loved tuna steak. Something about it just tastes so unique - it doesn't quite taste like fish, it's not exactly a steak, and it's definitely worlds apart from the canned stuff. So, as I've been settling in to my "fish renaissance" in which I actually bother going out and buying good fish to cook with naturally I have reclaimed the tuna steak as my own.

The problem, I find, is finding the perfect recipe for tuna steak. It's got such a wonderfully complex flavor. Often it's grilled, since it can take the heat of the grill. I once read in Cook's Illustrated (though I can't seem to find the issue right now) an article with a guide to how certain fish can/should be cooked. Tuna was definitely up at the top with the more heat-intense applications.

Anyways, I often find that one of the most common things involving tuna steak you'll see on a menu is some sort of Asian-style tuna. Makes sense - Asian flavors blend a whole lot of savory and umami, which is exactly what tuna needs. So, building on that, I saw an Asian-style preparation as the entry point into my quest for tuna perfection.

This recipe reuses the marinade as a sauce - but you need to make sure to cook it to avoid cross-contamination! I only had one tuna steak on hand but I think the marinade can be enough for two.

Though I don't think this recipe has brought me to tuna nirvana yet, I think it's a good way there - and so you'll see me continue experimenting in the future, trying to find the ideal tuna steak recipe.

One step closer to tuna nirvana...

Asian Tuna Steak
1 or 2 tuna steaks
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey 1
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp dried basil
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp lemon juice

1. Combine all the ingredients (except tuna) in a bowl and mix together very well.

2. Place tuna steaks in a ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 min to 2 hours.

3. Heat your broiler to high. Remove tuna steaks from marinade and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle extra sesame seeds on top of tuna and broil - 2 minutes each side for medium rare.

4. Pour leftover marinade into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat down to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened to the consistency you desire.

5. Serve sauce on top of the tuna steak.

Serves 1-2.


  1. Not to be difficult but I tend to buy salmon rather than tuna steaks. I seems to me that this would work with salmon too.

  2. yes, salmon also goes quite well with this kind of marinade/sauce - i just happened to have tuna on hand

  3. sounds delicious! i'm definitely going to try this out next time i splurge on tuna steaks!