Tuna is an interesting fish. Most of us have had canned tuna, but fresh tuna is a completely different animal in taste, texture, and of course preparation. While the canned variety is inexpensive, fresh tuna can be quite pricey, upwards of $50 a kilo. But sometimes it goes on sale at our local grocery store, and then it is definitely time for this recipe.
Unlike other fish, I like to treat tuna steaks as actual steaks – I prepare them and cook them in a very similar manner to beef. Grilled tuna is meaty, takes flavours well, and is very nutritious. Depending on how hungry everyone is, I count on 150-200g (5-7 oz) per person, but have had the occasional feast of 1/2 pound or more.
- Tuna steaks, about 3/4″ to 1″ thick.
- Salt & pepper
- garlic powder
- lemon zest
Prepare the tuna as you would steaks: pat them dry, sprinkle both sides with fresh ground salt and pepper, garlic powder, and lemon zest. Lets sit for up to 1/2 hr while you get the grill heated up to let the flavours penetrate, and let the fish warm up to room temperature.
Get the grill hot. On my gas grill I cook on medium high to high, and on my charcoal grill I will cook around 500F. Season the grill with a touch of oil to prevent sticking, and put those bad boys straight on the grill. Unlike other fish, tuna does not fall apart when cooked, so using a topper is not necessary.
Cooking time is fairly short – over charcoal I do about 1.5 minutes per side, then finish off with another 30 seconds per side at a different angle (you know, for grill lines). On the gas grill slightly longer, maybe 2 minutes and 1 minute.
That’s it, serve right away. It does not need to rest like beef. It should be nicely seared on the outside, with the inside retaining some pink colour. Serve as you would steak, with a salad or your favourite veggies. If you want to sauce it up a little you can use just about anything from salsa to BBQ sauce. I quite like it with Danger Sauce myself.