This seared tuna was a very special treat for us. Though we often throw out tuna steaks as an option when we’re headed to the store to buy some fish, ahi or yellowfin tuna can be almost prohibitively expensive. These tuna steaks were pricey, but they were so fresh looking and smelling that we couldn’t resist. It is extremely important when you are searing tuna to choose fresh, high quality fish. The center of the fish remains raw, so you have to be confident in your fishmonger to feel comfortable eating it.
Because the high quality fish was intended to be the star of this plate, I kept the marinade fairly simple – some ponzu, a bit of sesame oil, and a few aromatics. All of the flavors are present in the finished dish, but the predominant flavor is that of ocean fresh tuna. Served with some simple spinach and white rice, this was a delicious, healthy, and filing meal.
Ponzu-Marinated Seared Yellowfin Tuna
2 yellowfin tuna steaks (also known as ahi tuna), each weighing approximately 1/2 lb.
1/4 cup ponzu
3 tbs. sesame oil
2 scallions, white and dark green parts only
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger, grated
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 tbs. canola oil
Whisk together ponzu, sesame oil, scallions, garlic, ginger, and black pepper. Place tuna steaks in a large ziplock bag and pour marinade over. Marinate at least an hour, turning often to ensure even marination.
Coat either a cast iron grill pan or cast iron skillet with canola oil. Heat over high heat until oil is shimmering and a drop of water placed on the pan evaporates.
Place tuna on the grill. Cook roughly one minute and fifteen seconds per side per 1/2 inch of thickness to ensure a seared outside and cool center.