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How To Cook Fresh Tuna

Author: Chef George Krumov

As a professional chef, I have cooked a lot of tuna over the years, in many different ways. My favorite way to enjoy tuna is on sushi. This way I only need a small amount of tuna, to be able to savor its taste, as opposed to an eight-ounce tuna steak. That's not to say that cooking the tuna is a bad thing to do. It is just a question of personal preference.

When you decide to cook tuna, there are a few other things that you should take care. First, you need to buy a good quality fresh tuna. Frozen will do too. I usually prefer to get fresh yellowfin tuna, and frozen albacore tuna.

After that, if you want to have perfectly textured tuna, you should age it at least for a day or two. For detailed information on how to age tuna, visit this page.

Tuna is best when it is cooked to "rare". Anything that is going to be cooked to "rare", should be kept at room temperature for one or two hours prior to cooking, in order not to be too cold in the center. If you start cooking a tuna steak right from the fridge, the center of the steak will remain somewhat cooler, and the dish will get cold very fast.

 

The two best methods to cook fresh tuna are grilling (searing) and blackening. Both ways are quick and easy, and produce perfect results. Here is how.

Grilling fresh tuna: Method #1 - Get a fresh tuna steak and brush it with a mix of teriyaki sauce, finely chopped ginger and a dash of sesame oil. Heat the grill to high, and grease it generously. Grill the tuna steak for about 2 minutes on each side. Serve and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top.

Method #2 - Get a fresh tuna steak and brush it with a mix of EV olive oil, sea salt,

Blackening spices

Blackening spice mix

freshly ground black pepper, dash of lime juice, finely chopped fresh tarragon and minced garlic. Heat the grill to high, and grease it generously. Grill the tuna steak for about 2 minutes on each side, and serve.

Blackening fresh tuna: You can use store-bought blackening spice mix, or you can easily make your own. For making blackening spice you need to mix together some onion powder, garlic powder, ground white pepper, chili powder, paprika, ground dried thyme, and (optional) curry powder. The proportions are according to taste. You can add salt to the mix as well. After you have the blackening spice mix ready, pat dry the tuna steak and dredge it in the spice. Heat a cast-iron pan to high temperature, and grease it generously. Put the tuna steak in the pan and cook it for 2 minutes, or until it starts smoking. Turn and cook it the same way on the other side. Serve immediately. Blackening achieves both, a crispy and flavorful outside, and perfectly tender inside of the tuna steak. Enjoy.

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