Rosie’s Recipes: Herbalicious Tuna

By on September 12, 2022

(Photos by Rosie Hawthorne)

By Rosie Hawthorne | Outer Banks Voice

My tuna connection has been keeping me well-supplied with some lovely tuna fillets this season.   And just to keep it interesting, I’ve been coming up with all sorts of preparations for this wonderful fish.  Today’s tuna dish is “Herbalicious Tuna.”  It’s seared and sliced tuna steaks accented with a fresh herbal condiment – my  variation on gremolata and chimichurri sauces.  It combines the citrusy fragrance of lemon zest with the grassiness of parsley, the sweetness and pepperiness of basil, the refreshing coolness of mint, and the savory pungency of garlic.  A simple tomato and cucumber salad serves as an accompaniment. Everything is light, summery, and fresh.

(Photos by Rosie Hawthorne)

For the herbal condiment:

  •  ½  oz. parsley
  • ¼  oz. basil
  • ⅛  oz. mint
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 TB oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste

If you don’t have a scale to measure in fractions of an ounce, go with a yepsen of parsley, a handful of basil, and a half handful of mint.  And by the way, a yepsen is a unit of measurement.  It’s the amount that can be held in two hands cupped together.

Mince the garlic, finely chop the herbs, add in the juice and zest of the lemon, then stir in the oil.  Pinch of salt.

(Photos by Rosie Hawthorne)

Simple Garden Salad

  • ½ cup diced cucumber
  • ½ cup diced tomato
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1-2 tsp minced jalapeño
  • 1 TB chopped fresh basil
  • 2 TB chopped fresh parsley

Combine ingredients and toss with dressing:

  • 1 TB sugar
  • 2 TB cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

To prepare the tuna:

First, I sliced the tuna into generous 1-inch thick steaks, then sprinkled on some Lawry’s seasoned pepper and Togarashi seasoning before searing.  Togarashi is a combination or red chile flakes, black and white sesame seeds, nori (seaweed), poppy seeds, and lemon and orange zests.  Not to worry if you don’t have the togarashi.  You can make up your own spice combination here.  Just pick and choose.

I heated my cast iron skillet over high heat and added in a swirl of peanut oil.  (Peanut oil for the high smoke point.)  Let the temperature get to at least 475°.  Add in a pat of butter (Butter for the flavor.),  let it sizzle and melt, and then place in your tuna steak.  I’m using a small pan here, so one steak at a time.  You don’t want to crowd the pan which lowers the heat.  You want that pan hothothot to get that nice sear.

I like my tuna on the rare side, so cook for 1 – 1 ½ minutes on the first side, turn over, and cook for a minute on the other side.  Remove from pan and let rest a couple minutes before slicing.  To plate,  nestle tuna slices in the tomato-cucumber salad and spoon herbal dressing over top.


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