G loves tuna – I would go far as to say that tuna sashimi is one of her favourite foods. However, I rarely cook tuna at home and even less often I cook tuna steak. I’ve always found in the past that it turns out a little grey and unappealing and lacks a real punch of flavour – so salmon has always been my go to fish to cook at home. However, this recipe has changed all that, spice crusted tuna steak takes 10 minutes total and is so delicious. A crunchy and intensely savoury crust makes way for soft buttery tuna – with a squeeze of lemon juice, some parsley garlic potatoes and some delicious ratatouille (well my version of ratatouille anyway) its a wonderful and quick midweek meal, which is so delicious it may just find its way onto the plates of some dinner guests soon as well
I like to use my trusty mortar and pestle to crush the spices with which to crust the tuna. However, it works just as well to place them in a ziplock bag and give them a good shellacking with a rolling pin (good for the end of day tension too) it even works to place them in a blender and pulse 5 or so times. You want to break apart the spices but don’t want to turn them into a dust. My favourite spices are a mix of black pepper, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and cumin seeds but feel free to experiment – tuna is quite robust and can stand up to most spices.
Applying the spices to the tuna steak is very easy. Place the spice mixture on a plate and after seasoning the tuna well simply cover one side with a little Dijon mustard and press lightly into the spices – they’ll stick to the tuna easily. Make sure your pan is hot and well oiled before you place the tuna in or the spices will stick to the pan, however you don’t want the pan as hot as when cooking steak or chargrilling tuna or your spices will burn. Use a non-stick or well seasoned cast iron pan to cook your tuna. Let me know your favourite spice combinations in the comments – would love to hear them!
Spice Crusted Tuna Steak
- 2 large tuna steaks that are almost room temperature
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 4 black peppercorns (or several twists of coarse black pepper)
- Sea salt
- Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Season the tuna well with salt both sides and brush one side with Dijon mustard. Set aside whilst preparing the spice mix.
- Place all the spices in a dry pan and toast of a medium heat until fragrant (a couple of minutes). Transfer to a pestle and mortar (or alternative methods above) and crush until broken apart but still with some texture and not ground. Add altitude sea salt to the spice mix.
- Dip the tuna steaks (mustard side) into the spice mix.
- Place a nonstick pan (or well seasoned cast iron) on a medium high heat and add a good glue of olive oil. Once hot add the tuna spice side down and cook until golden (be careful not to burn the spices). It should take 3-4 minutes. Turn over the tuna steaks and cook for a further minute.
- Serve immediately on warm plates with some ratatouille and garlic parsley potatoes.