Seasonings for Grilling or Broiling Yellow Fin Tuna

by Christi Flaherty

    A tuna steak can be a gateway fish for seafood haters. Its meaty texture makes it great for grilling and broiling, as opposed to the poaching or steaming techniques necessary for more delicate fish. The stronger flavor of tuna means you can use more aggressive seasoning as well, allowing you to treat tuna as you would any other grilled meat. Whether you can marinate it, use a dry rub or serve it with a piquant sauce, next time you are feeding fish naysayers, dare to pull out tuna and see if you can make them a convert.

    True Lemon Pepper

    Combining fresh lemon zest, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper will give you a much more vivid color and fresh lemon flavor than the ready-made spice aisle counterpart. Rub the tuna with a bit of olive oil before massaging in enough of the the rub to coat all the surfaces of the tuna. To make the lemony flavor even more pronounced, sprinkle broiled or grilled fish with a blend of 2 parts olive oil to one part lemon juice.

    Pineapple Soy

    This take on teriyaki uses pantry ingredients to make a sweet-savory marinade and glaze for the tuna. Mix equal parts soy sauce and pineapple juice. Marinate the tuna in half the mixture for only 30 minutes, then grill or broil it. While the tuna is marinating, add 1 tbsp. of honey or brown sugar per 1/2 cup of marinade, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and cook until it reduces to a thin syrup. Taste the mix, then add a little lime juice or rice wine vinegar to cut the sweetness. Drizzle it over the cooked fish.

    Smoky Spice

    A mixture of salt, bold spices and smoked paprika will help produce the true barbecue flavor expected on a grilled steak. A little brown sugar added to the mix will give it more of a Southern flair. After rubbing the tuna, you can cook it right away or let it stand for up to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate, then dry off any surface moisture before cooking.

    Chimichurri

    Chimichurri sauce is the perfect companion to grilled tuna. Parsley, oregano and green onions are the primary herbs used in this sauce along with cumin, a hefty dose of garlic and red wine vinegar to punch up the flavor. Smoothed out with lots of olive oil, it can be used as both a marinade and a sauce. If using as a marinade, use just enough to coat the tuna steak, then let it stand for 30 minutes or less to avoid cooking the outside of the fish with the vinegar-heavy sauce. Reserve the rest of the marinade to drizzle over the tuna after it is grilled or broiled.

    About the Author

    Christi Flaherty, a private chef and culinary instructor, has been writing food blogs since 2005 and has been a featured publisher with Daily Buzz Food since 2010 at her blog CookWhatYou've Got.com. She dedicated her career to all things food after her first trip to Napa Valley in 2004 to study at the Culinary Institute of America.

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