Tuna Steak – RecipeTin Eats

Recipes for cooking fresh tuna steaks

Video Recipes for cooking fresh tuna steaks

The perfect tuna fillet is scorched on the outside and deliciously rare on the inside. Cooked in 2 1/2 minutes, it’s also arguably the fastest fish recipe ever!

I’m serving this tuna with a vibrant, fresh Sauce Vierge, a light French sauce that’s a modern classic for all the right reasons. Healthy, quick and easy, this tuna steak is also an impressive presentation. Appearance, taste, speed and elegance – this ticks all the boxes!

<img src="" alt="

Close-up of fork picking up a slice of tuna fillet” /><img src

=”” alt=”Tuna fillet with

vierge sauce (French fish sauce) on a plate, ready to eat” />Fillet

There’s a reason why tuna is so prized by the world’s most elite restaurants. The belly is sought after for its rich, fatty meat, while the loins, which we are using today, have a silky texture and a tasty, clean taste that is not at all “fishy”. Meanwhile, the jewel shade of loin meat is beautiful and the basis of many impressive-looking dishes.

You’ll often see raw tuna loin for delicate canapés and starters like tataki, carpaccio, tartare, and ceviche, to name a few. Meanwhile, the belly is coveted especially for sashimi. Tuna is the star of the world-famous daily tuna auction at Tokyo’s fish markets, where whole tuna can be sold at mind-blowing prices. (The first bluefin tuna of the season is especially known for attracting outrageous offers for advertising, and the current record is over $3 million for a 278 kg (612 lb) tuna, that’s over $10,000/kg!!!😳😳😳.)

Such is the attractiveness and demand for quality tuna today. But ordinary people like you and me don’t need to pay crazy prices for tuna for our purposes today! Good quality fresh tuna fillets are available at your local fishmonger and are fine!

! <img src="" alt="Seasoned tuna fillet,

ready to cook

” />

Pan-fried tuna fillet in a panShould the tuna

fillet be raw in the middle

? Yes! If you’re

wondering if the tuna fillet should be raw in the middle, the answer short is YES. A well-cooked tuna fillet should be scorched on the outside but raw on the inside.

This is because the tuna fillets are cut from the loin of the fish. This part of tuna, identifiable by its uniform pink or red color and translucent with little fat, is lean. Once cooked, it tends to become quite dry, think about canned tuna and the texture it has. It’s a bit like overcooked chicken breast! As much as we love our canned tuna, we don’t want to eat a whole steak of it!

Serving the tuna with a rare (raw) center ensures that the interior remains tender and succulent. Medium or well-made tuna will begin to look like our friend canned tuna, except without the canned oil that conveniently compensates for that dryness!

Close-up of the fork picking up a piece of tuna fillet with Vierge sauce

Different varieties

of tuna

Different types of tuna have different qualities and culinary uses. Today’s recipe shows yellowfin tuna, which is the most common type of tuna sold in fishmongers here in Australia. It is an excellent multifaceted tuna with a mild flavor, used for everything from sashimi/raw to preserves.

The other

main types of tuna you can find are:

  • Skipjack Tuna – Most commonly used for canned tuna, it has a stronger flavor than other types

  • ;

  • White Tuna – Also used for canning; light-colored meat;

  • Bluefin Tuna – The tuna most appreciated for its rich meat and nutritional qualities, especially by the Japanese. This is the guy sold at mind-blowing prices at Tokyo’s famous tuna auctions;

  • Bigeye Tuna – Another highly valued tuna, the second most expensive after bluefin tuna; and

  • Ahi tuna – This is a Hawaiian name that covers both yellowfin and bigeye tuna. People in the United States know him for things like Poke Bowls.

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What you need to cook tuna


Here is everything you need to cook tuna fillet: fresh tuna, salt, pepper and oil. (Let’s pretend I didn’t forget the oil in my photo, despite it being one of the three ingredients!) 😂

<img src="" alt="How to cook

tuna fillet” />Choose tuna


Because tuna fillet is best served indoors, it is important to make sure the tuna is fresh. It doesn’t need to be “sashimi-grade,” which is the quality required when serving fully raw tuna, such as with Poke Bowls, Ceviche, Tartare, or as sashimi and sushi (the last two recipes are on my mother’s website, RecipeTin Japan). However, it has to be very fresh.

And it’s

super easy to say, just

smell and touch it: how to know that the

tuna fillet

is fresh

  • It smells clean like the ocean and is not “fishy”; and

  • the meat is

  • moist but not viscous


Trust me, you will know as soon as you smell it if it is fresh or not. (PS There is absolutely no shame in asking the fishmonger to pass the tuna over the counter so he can smell it. Personally, I insist on that. Fish is expensive!)

How to cook tuna fillet The trick to cooking tuna fillet

perfectly is a hot skillet screaming so you can seal the outside well while keeping the inside raw. It has to be super hot because it’s only on the stove for 2 1/2 minutes!

How to make tuna fillet

  1. Seasonal oil and fillets – Rub oil into the tuna fillet and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. I like to use olive oil because it has a bit of flavor, but any oil is fine here;

  2. Preheat the pan until it is hot –

  3. Use a heavy base skillet so it can be preheated until it is so hot that you see smoke coming out of the pan


    TIPS:Do not use a nonstick skillet. These are not made for cooking at high temperatures and will ruin the non-stick coating;- Do not grease the pan before preheating. It will smoke your house! If it is a cast iron skillet or well-seasoned grill pan*, like the one I have used, then there is no need to add oil to the pan because we have greased the tuna; – If you need to grease a pan (i.e. if yours is not a cast iron skillet), wait until it’s super hot and then brush lightly with oil. Use a heatproof brush, a paper towel slightly dipped in oil, or remove it from the heat, and then lightly spray with oil. Never spray a hot scream pan with oil ON a gas stove if you value your eyebrows and your home, it is a fire hazard! * A seasoned pan is a cast iron or carbon steel skillet that has developed a natural nonstick patina through repeated use. It should also be kept lightly oiled to prevent oxidation;

  4. Cook the tuna – Once the pan

  5. is very hot, place

    the tuna in the pan.

    How long to cook the tuna: A 2.5cm/1″ thick, 200g/7oz tuna fillet should be cooked for 90 seconds on the first side and then 60 seconds on the other side to get a good seal on the outside while keeping it weird on the inside. Target internal temperature : The target internal temperature is 48°C (118°F). This will ensure that the interior remains rare and pleasantly warm rather than cold as stone;

  6. How to get the

  7. crisscross grill marks – If you want to get the fancy restaurant-style grill brands:

    a) Use a cast iron grill pan

    Use a cast iron skillet with grill iines, like the one shown in the post; b) Cook 45 seconds -Place the tuna in a pan for 45 seconds; c) Turn 45 degrees, cook another 45 seconds – Turn the tuna 45 degrees and leave it for another 45 seconds. Then flip the tuna; d) 60 seconds other side – Cook the tuna fillet on the second side for 60 seconds, then remove to a rack;

    You will notice that this means that crosslinking applies to only one side. This is to simplify cooking. It serves the crisscrossing side looking up, obviously!

    Tip: For the most perfect lines, do not move the tuna once placed in the pan (except to rotate once).

  8. Rest on the rack – We usually want meats to continue cooking while resting. This is sometimes called “drag cooking.” In this case, we want to minimize it because we want the tuna fillet to remain weird inside. So I like to use a rack placed on a tray to rest the tuna fillet, to encourage excess heat to dissipate. You rarely see me do this, I usually only use one dish (except washing and all that jazz!) So the fact that I’m doing it tells you it matters!

  9. Slice and admire! Let the tuna stand for 5 minutes until cool. The colder the tuna, the easier it will be to cut it so that the scorched bark is fixed and the less likely it is to crumble when cut. It’s actually best served at room temperature, as the center of the tuna only reaches 48°C/118°F, which is rare (barely above raw). If served hot, the temperature difference between the outside and inside may seem jarring when you eat.

    Cutting to serve is optional. Fine dining restaurants often choose to pre-cut tuna for presentation purposes, because the eye-catching red color inside looks great!

    As for what to serve with the tuna fillet? It is shown in this post with Sauce Vierge, a kind of French sauce/vinaigrette. This light and bright sauce combines perfectly with a fine, fresh-tasting tuna fillet. See below for a list of more tuna fillet sauces and topping ideas!

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<img src="" alt="

Vierge sauce in a bowl

” />

Tuna fillet with Vierge sauce, ready to be served

The best sauces and toppings for steak

Being a relatively mild-tasting fish, tuna lends itself to all sorts of possibilities when it comes to a sauce. Bright, fresh sauces and accompaniments work best with this tuna, rather than very buttery or creamy sauces (like this lemon cream sauce for fish).

Here are some suggestions:

  • Sauce Vierge – In the photo in the post, this is a summer French sauce/vinaigrette popularized by the great French chef, Michel Guérard. He is known for introducing a lighter style of French food that emphasizes simplicity and freshness, influences we still see in restaurants today. This sauce pairs beautifully with tuna. I especially enjoy how vinaigrette seeps into the cracks of tuna flakes when you cover it with a spoon;

  • Mexican

  • Salsa – The bright, jumping flavors of a Mexican tomato sauce would also be wonderful with tuna! Coincidentally slap it like I’ve done with Vierge sauce. Pico de Gallo would also work, although I would recommend chopping the tomato a little smaller;

  • Salsa Verde – The beautiful fresh herbs in this simple, uncooked, pesto-like sauce make it ideal for tuna and all kinds of seafood, not to mention its beautiful dazzling green color!

  • Pesto – A spot of basil pesto on the side would be great. You won’t need much because the flavor of pesto is more intense than, for example, Salsa Verde;

  • Chimichurri Sauce – South America’s contribution to the world of spicy and meat-friendly sauces, this parsley, garlic and olive oil sauce is an excellent choice for tuna;

  • Japanese

  • Ginger Sauce – If you’re looking for a Japanese leaning, use the marinade/sauce in my tuna Poke Bowl recipe. It’s fabulous!

  • Lemon Vinaigrette – The quick taste of lemon is a natural pairing with any fish! Use a vinaigrette (i.e. salad dressing) instead of lemon juice. The oil and other flavors add some extra richness and flavor. It also makes the dressing more viscous so that it adheres better to tuna. Use the dressing in this brown rice salad recipe.

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There are just a few ideas to get you started! 😉

Close-up of the Chimichurri sauce spoon

  • Chimichurri<img src
  • =”” alt=”Salsa Verde con

  • Langosta” />
    Salsa Verde (pictured with lobster)
  • <img src="" alt="

  • Close-up of corn chips picking homemade salsa (salsa recipe – restaurant style)” />
    Mexican sauce
    <img src
  • =”

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accompaniments to serve with tuna fillet

As for the accompaniments, it really depends on which path you take with the flavors. In general, I would opt for lighter sides to keep the atmosphere fresh from the tuna and sauces. Here are some suggestions:

  • Herby Buttered Baby Potatoes or Lemon Potato

  • Salad

  • Marinated Vegetable Pasta Salad – A great vegetarian + starch option. Or try this Mediterranean brown rice salad or wild rice salad;

  • White Bean Tabbouleh Salad – All the flavors you love about tabbouleh, bulging with beans to make an all-in-one side;

  • Homemade artisanal crispy bread (super easy!) + a green leafy green salad with a French, Italian or classic salad dressing;

  • A great avocado salad with green beans!

Scrolling back through everything I’ve written, this seems like an unusually long post for a recipe that supposedly takes 2 1/2 minutes to cook! 😂

Truth be told, I just want you to feel confident when you decide to try this recipe. So I’ve gone through all the information I thought you might want to know, even if you’ve never cooked tuna steak before.

I hope you find it useful and, more importantly, that it looks so delicious that you can’t resist trying it! Remember, tuna fillet is:

✔ Healthy – Low fat, low in calories, high in protein and contains essential amino acids✔ A unique and delicious fish ✔ Worthy of dinner, but still affordable and can be made at home!

– Nagi x

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