While tuna is most commonly enjoyed from tins in the UK, fresh tuna has become far more popular over the past 20 years or so, and for good reason. An incredibly versatile ingredient, tuna is suited to a great number of dishes, including sandwiches, salads, sushi, pasta, and simply seared like steak.
What’s more, seared tuna also has an extensive list of health benefits. While fish, in general, is considered healthy, tuna is a large, muscular fish and is especially high in protein, healthy fats, and other important nutrients such as Vitamin D and Omega-3. It’s also low in calories, with the fat content significantly lower than fish such as salmon.
With firm texture and bold flavour, fresh salmon is best cooked medium-rare, or at least slightly pink in the middle to avoid unpleasant dryness, due to its low fat content. It’s best to treat the tuna like a fillet steak when considering cooking times and level of done-ness.
This seared tuna recipe calls for the fresh tuna fillets to be patted dry then quickly marinated in a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, and fresh ginger that’s peeled and sliced as thinly as possible. After marinading for just 15 minutes, to prevent the lime from ‘cooking’ the tuna, the fillets are very quickly seared in a hot, dry frying pan. Ideally cooked in batches of no more than two fillets at a time, the fish is cooked over medium-high heat for two minutes then gently flipped and cooked for another minute or two, until all sides are lightly seared.
Once cooked, remove from the pan and rest for a minute or two and optionally cut into slices. Garnish with chopped spring onion greens and be sure to save the marinade – it works particularly well as a sauce for stir fried vegetables or fried rice: both of which are a perfect accompaniment to this seared tuna recipe.
- 2 fresh tuna fillets
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1- inch piece fresh ginger peeled and finely sliced
- 1 lime juice only
- Pat the tuna fillets dry with kitchen paper and add to a mixing bowl with the soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, and sliced ginger. Leave the tuna to marinate for 15 minutes. The marinade can also be saved and used in a number of other recipes, including as a sauce for stir fried vegetables or fried rice.
- Once the tuna has marinated, heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Remove the tuna fillets from the marinade and scrape off as much ginger as possible to prevent it from burning. Add the tuna to the pan and cook, undisturbed, for two minutes. Flip the tuna fillets over and cook for another minute or two, until all sides are lightly seared.
- Remove from the pan (or cook for longer if you prefer the tuna to be well done) and serve garnished with chopped spring onion greens.