Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Grilled Tuna Steaks

Jason (my husband) suggested that I make a how-to-cook-tuna-steaks website because that is the most popular recipe on my foodadventures.org site. If you ask me, he is just biased towards tuna. I didn't want to exclude other fish from my blog. But since tuna is Jason's favorite, I'll make this my first recipe post.

I used Thai Ginger Marinade from Whole Foods for this dish. It's perfect on any dense fish, like tuna, swordfish, and mahi. The ginger, garlic and soy sauce give the fish great flavor, and abundant oil make it tender. Since I cook tuna rare, marinating is really optional. It will taste silky and tender even without it.

Serves 4

1 1/2 Lb tuna steaks
1/2 cup Thai Ginger Marinade* (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil for brushing the grill
1 Tbsp softened butter

Optional Marinade:
  1. Put tuna in a non-reactive container (like glass), pour marinade over it and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  1. Preheat the grill to high (for a gas grill, use the highest setting).
  2. Remove tuna from marinade and dry on paper towels. If skipping the marinade, season heavily with salt and pepper on both sides and coat with 1 Tbsp of oil.
  3. Dip a wad of paper towels into oil, pick it up with tongs, and brush the grill.
  4. Place tuna on the grill and cover. Grill for 2 minutes, flip, recover, and grill 1 more minute. This will give you a beautifully rare, silky tuna. You can cook it longer of course, but if you want it well done, you might just as well open a can of tuna rather than spend $18/Lb on a good tuna steak. Don't be afraid of grilling. Dense fish like tuna don't stick to the grill and are easy to flip with either tongs or spatula.
  5. Before serving, top with a teaspoon of soft butter. If you forgot to get it out of the fridge early enough, put the butter under each portion of tuna to let it melt.
* In Boston, where we live, Thai Ginger Marinade is available in the fish department of every Whole Foods that we know of. But when Jason was visiting his friend Kai in California, he was appalled not to find Thai Ginger Marinade at their local Whole Foods. How could anyone live without this miracle marinade is beyond us! But if that's the situation you find yourself in, don't fret -- you can easily make a batch and keep it in your fridge for up to a month

Mix together:
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 inches of ginger root, peeled and minced
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro


I Am Gluten Free said...

Can you use tamari sauce for the teriyaki sauce? I know for sure that I have a gluten free tamari sauce, but I'm not sure about finding a gluten free teriyaki sauce.

Anonymous said...

It is true that Thai Ginger Marinade is not at Whole Foods in San Francisco. Neither is it at Real Food or Big Apple, which specializes in Asian stuff.
I made my own... thanks for the recipe, and used with Swordfish.

Anonymous said...

Does medium-rare tuna have to be eaten immediately or can the leftovers be eaten over the next day or two? Would that be safe? Thanks!

Helen said...

it depends on many factors: the freshness of your tuna to begin with, the temperature of your fridge, etc. I don't see any problems with keeping it for 1 day. I think 2 is pushing it.


Natasha Bodansky said...

Could you tell me how to adjust the timing, when grilling on dual-contact grill. I'd really appreciate

Helen said...

Do you mean like George Foreman grill? I don't have one, so I haven't tested this timing, but I am guessing you cut the total cooking time in half and add about a minute. Try about 3 minutes total for a 1 inch thick steak and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Another question. How thick should be the steaks? Thanks again.

Helen said...

ideally, they should be 1 - 1.5 inches thick