Tuna is a very popular fish but one that is easy to get wrong when cooking and instead of enjoying a succulent juicy steak you can end up with something that resembles shoe leather!
It starts before your tuna steak gets near the pan.
1. Is it fresh?
Tuna should be dark red with a nice sheen and should not smell fishy! If you are defrosting it from frozen ideally do this slowly overnight in the fridge or leave it out of the fridge, covered, for not longer than a couple of hours. If you are in a hurry soak the tuna in cold water for half an hour but make sure it is thoroughly defrosted before cooking
2. Is it seasoned?
All fish needs to be dried with paper towel then brushed with oil (rapeseed is best) and well seasoned with sea salt and black pepper before cooking. Remember oil the fish not the pan!
Now you are ready to cook
· Tuna should be treated like best steak which for many people means slightly pink in the middle. This is the best way to eat tuna but may not be to everybody’s taste. Cooking tuna right through is fine, just don’t overcook it!
· Tuna is best cooked in a very very hot frying pan on the hob. This is so the fish is seared on the outside so keeping all the delicious juices and flavour inside the fish. You can then turn down the heat. A couple of minutes on each side is all it needs. If you use a griddle pan you will get the nice brown stripes along the fish. The thickness of the fish together with how you like it cooked – rare, medium or well done will determine how long you need to continue to cook the tuna. Whatever you do, BEFORE it is cooked to how you like it, remove the pan from the heat as the fish will continue to cook
Now you are ready to serve
· As tuna is a very meaty fish it goes well with sweet chilli jelly. Melt a little in the pan you cooked the tuna and mix with the juices, warm through and pour over the fish
· A small spoon of black tapenade is a good accompaniment as is guacamole
· Salad goes well with tuna steak, as it cleanses the palate and is light and refreshing. Keep the salad dressing light, such as an oil and vinegar, perhaps with a hint of ginger. Tuna steak can also be cut into small pieces and actually tossed into a salad, rather than having the salad as a side dish