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How to Cook Fresh Tuna: Three Incredibly Delicious Recipes

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Pan -ried loin of tuna and salsa on bruschetta

Pan -ried loin of tuna and salsa on bruschetta

Fresh Tuna vs. Canned Tuna

Fresh and canned tuna provide very different eating experiences. For many, the canned option represents the fish at its worst: dry and overcooked. This is largely because it is not only cooked before it is canned, the canning process itself further cooks the fish.

On the other hand, fresh tuna for many lovers of the canned variety often represents a non-justifiable food expense and can be deemed to be undercooked when served in restaurants. Fresh tuna is actually widely believed to be at its best served pink in the centre and merely seared to some extent on the surface.

Recipes in This Article

  1. Spicy Tuna Steak With Sweet Potato Fries and Salad
  2. Grilled Tuna on Spicy Rice With Vegetable Shish Kebab
  3. Pan-Fried Tuna Loin With Bruschetta and Salsa
Paprika spiced tuna and sweet potato oven fries with salad

Paprika spiced tuna and sweet potato oven fries with salad

1. Spicy Tuna Steak With Sweet Potato Fries and Salad

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min

Ready in: 35 min

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into wedges
  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 oz fresh tuna loin fillet
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • Handful of salad combination of choice
  • 2 or 3 fresh basil leaves, rolled and finely sliced

Instructions

  1. Pour a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil into a roasting tray and put in the oven to preheat both to 400ºF/200ºC. Add the sweet potato wedges to the tray, season with salt and pepper, stir carefully through the oil and bake for 20 minutes, stirring again halfway through cooking.
  2. Prepare your salad. The salad in this instance consisted of some chopped yellow bell pepper and red onion, mixed green salad leaves and cherry tomatoes.
  3. Use 1 teaspoon of the paprika to rub gently over both sides of the tuna. Season further with a little salt and pepper.
  4. Put the grated garlic clove and the remaining 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika into a bowl. Take the sweet potatoes from the oven and lift with tongs to deposit them in the bowl. Stir very carefully with a wooden spoon. Transfer the sweet potato chips to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain.
  5. Bring a little vegetable oil up to a high heat in a nonstick frying pan. Fry the tuna for about 1 minute each side, until it looks as though it has cooked one-third of the way up in each instance.
  6. Plate the salad and fries and lay the tuna on top of the salad. Garnish with the sliced basil leaves.
Grilled/broiled tuna fillet on a bed of spicy rice with a Mediterranean vegetable shish kebab

Grilled/broiled tuna fillet on a bed of spicy rice with a Mediterranean vegetable shish kebab

2. Grilled Tuna on Spicy Rice With Vegetable Shish Kebab

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 10 min

Ready in: 20 min

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 oz basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon Lebanese 7 spice
  • ¼ eggplant (aubergine), chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • ¼ yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ small red onion, peeled and cut into 3 segments
  • 4 oz tuna loin fillet
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 or 3 basil leaves, rolled and thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water up to a boil. Wash the rice under running cold water and add it to the pot along with the Lebanese 7 spice. Bring back to a simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Thread the vegetable pieces alternately on to a skewer. A metal skewer is used in this instance. You could use a wooden skewer but if so, remember to soak it in cold water for 10 minutes first or you risk it burning under the heat.
  3. Lightly oil a grilling pan and bring your grill/broiler up to a high heat. Lay the vegetable skewer on the pan and lightly brush with olive oil. Cook for 2minutes.
  4. Turn the skewer (protecting your hand from the heat) and lay the tuna alongside. Put back under the heat for 2 more minutes, turning the tuna halfway through.
  5. Drain the rice and spoon on to a plate as a bed for the tuna. Carefully lift the tuna on top.
  6. Sit the skewer next to the tuna and rice, using a fork to slide the vegetables off and onto the plate.
  7. Garnish with the sliced basil.
Seared tuna loin is served on a bed of salsa with bruschetta

Seared tuna loin is served on a bed of salsa with bruschetta

3. Pan-Fried Tuna Loin With Bruschetta and Salsa

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 5 min

Ready in: 15 min

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely diced
  • 2-inch piece of cucumber, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, 1 crushed or grated, 1 lightly crushed only
  • Pinch of hot chilli powder (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 or 4 basil leaves, rolled and sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 6oz piece of tuna loin
  • 3 slices of French breadstick

Instructions

  1. If practical, you could prepare the salsa a couple of hours in advance and refrigerate it, covered with plastic wrap until it is needed. Simply add the tomato, cucumber, chilli powder (if appropriate), the grated garlic clove and the basil to a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, add a splash of extra virgin olive oil and stir well.
  2. The tuna fillet in this recipe is deliberately a little bit bigger and thicker than in the previous two recipes. This is because it is sliced into three pieces after it is cooked. In this instance, the fillet should be seasoned and fried for about 1 minute on all four sides in a hot pan with a little oil.
  3. When the tuna is in the frying pan, put the bread on to toast. Rub the hot toast with the lightly crushed garlic clove before drizzling with a little oilve oil and seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Lay the slices of toast on the serving plate and spoon some salsa onto each one.
  5. Lift the tuna to a chopping board and slice into three even portions to sit on top of the salsa on the toast.
  6. Drizzle with any remaining salsa by way of a garnish.

© 2013 Gordon Hamilton