You’re looking at one of my proudest culinary accomplishments. This tuna tastes like something I’ve ordered in restaurants many times before. The best part? This was one of the easiest main dishes I have ever prepared.
I love tuna, but I’ve always considered it best left to restaurants. That is, until my mom came home from Costco with two huge chunks of tuna and said “do something with this.” It’s getting like Iron Chef around here.
I decided on a recipe featured on Simply Recipes that sounded, well, simple. You sear the tuna over medium-high heat, just cooking the outside and leaving the inside raw (how high-quality tuna should be cooked). It’s served with a sauce made of cilantro, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and lime, which I have named Amazing Sauce. You guys… this sauce is pretty out of control. My dad said he wanted to drink it (but he was also drinking tequila on a Tuesday night. True story. Hi, Dad.).
Good tuna is expensive, but it costs no more than good steak. Obviously this isn’t something most people can afford to eat daily (unless you’re Jeremy Piven), so it’s best reserved for a special occasion.
Make this tuna. Drinking the sauce is optional, but encouraged. As is a healthy swig of tequila.
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 jalapeño, seeded, de-ribbed, minced
- 4 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated (use a microplane grater)
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- Juice of 4 limes
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 (6 ounce) blocks high-quality tuna*
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cilantro, jalapeno, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup of olive oil.
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the tuna pieces with salt and pepper. Sear the tuna for a minute on each side. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Turn down heat to medium. Pour cilantro sauce into skillet and cook for a minute to heat through.
- Drizzle half the sauce over tuna and serve remaining sauce on the table. Either serve as whole tuna steaks or sliced (as pictured, above).
* This site is helpful in explaining what is meant by sushi- or sashimi-quality tuna (allegedly no more than a marketing term).