When it comes to pure flavor, I’d have to say that tuna, raw or cooked, is my favorite fish. As a true beef lover, I find tuna the perfect substitute when trying to eat healthy. Because I truly enjoy the flavor of this fish, I like to prepare it with a minimum of ingredients and cook it as simply as possible.
My go-to recipe for this “king of the sea” is “Basic Grilled Tuna” in Mark Bittman’s Fish: Fish: Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking.
The recipe calls for marinating a thick tuna steak (1.5 to 2 pounds) in a high-quality soy sauce and olive oil marinade for an hour or less and then grilling it on a hot grill or under a broiler, and basting occasionally with the marinade. After five minutes, the steak is turned and you start checking for doneness by cutting into the steak with a thin-bladed knife.
He warns that tuna should not be cooked to the well-done stage as it will continue to cook after its removed from the heat.
The first time I prepared this recipe, I overcooked my tuna. Now I turn my fish after about 3 minutes on a hot grill pan and then cook it for about 2 minutes on the other side. Rather than using a knife, I keep my eye on the sides of the steak and remove them before the rare middle is cooked. You can see the band of “rare” tuna in the photo above.
Although Bittman provides a recipe for an optional ginger-soy dipping sauce, I prefer to serve the tuna plain with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a lemon wedge.
Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc