By Rosie Hawthorne | Outer Banks Voice
Today, I’m cooking tuna and here’s how: Get out your cast iron skillet. Heat it up between 375° and 400°, film it with some peanut oil (high smoke point), drop in a chunk of unsalted butter, and when the butter gets all bubbly, gently place your tuna steak in. Cook 2 – 2 ½ minutes on the first side. Turn it over and go about another two minutes on the flip side. Remove from pan and plate, else it keeps on cooking. Depending on the thickness of your steak and how hot your pan is (Get an instant-read laser thermometer.), you’ll have a rare-to-medium-rare tuna steak. If you want more of a blackened steak, crank up the heat (425° – 450°) and cut back the time (1½ – 2 minutes first side, 1 – 1½ on the flip). These times are suggestions for starting points. Practice and you’ll get the hang of it and be able to cook your steaks rare to medium-rare, however you like. I do recommend that thermometer though.
Now, about seasoning. You can go simple, with just kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and you’ll be just fine. Or, you can sprinkle sesame seeds (and use a little sesame oil in the pan for extra flavor); or, if you like a little heat, try red chile pepper flakes; or you can try some togarashi seasoning – a combination of red chiles, black and white sesame seeds, nori, poppy seed, and lemon and orange zest.
For starters, I have your basic seared tuna along with a couple condiments for you to try – a gremolata and a fruit salsa. Both seasonings accent the tuna most agreeably, adding both freshness and brightness to the dishes.