This post is in response to a request from Jennifer, a friend from high school and college. She asked for some advice on what to do with fresh tuna. It’s gratifying to know someone is reading the blog!
Here are 2 pretty good options. I’m a more inclined to cook tuna in a skillet, rather than the grill, because I think you can control the heat better that way. Grilled tuna can be delicious, however.
The sesame tuna recipe is from Cooks Illustrated. It’s a great magazine- a little geeky, but it really teaches you technique, and helps you understand why things happen.
If you are going to use a grill, the 3 keys are hot, clean, and lubricated (Steven Raichlen’s quote, not mine). If you are using a charcoal grill, get the grate very close to the coals, either by adjusting the grill or building a pile of coals. Clean the grate with a grill brush once things have burned off a bit. Just before putting the tuna (or anything for that matter) on the grill, dip some rolled-up paper towels in vegetable oil and rub it on the grates. This will get the grates really clean and keep the food from sticking. Be careful, though- it may flare up a bit.
With a gas grill, the cleaning steps are the same, but to get the grates hot, put a disposable aluminum roasting pan (like for a turkey) upside down over the center of the grill and turn all the burners on high for 15 minutes before cleaning with the brush. The lid should be closed throughout. Once you clean the grates with the brush, close the lid for about another 5 minutes before cleaning with the oil soaked paper towels and cooking.
Here is a pretty good recipe from Alton Brown where he grills tuna on a charcoal chimney starter. If you use a charcoal grill, the chimney starter is indispensable. The charcoal heats up faster, and it requires no lighter fluid.
I would be careful about using the sesame seed coating on the grill, however. I think you run a real risk of charred sesame seeds on the tuna. I would probably keep it simple- liberally season the tuna with kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, let sit for 5-7 minutes, then rub some olive or peanut oil on the steaks before cooking. I would use Alton’s marinade as a dipping sauce.
Great to hear from you, and I’m gratified to know someone is reading the blog!
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Location:From the beach in Jax Beach