Seared tuna when executed well is amazing – it looks incredible with deep, deep reds of that practically raw tuna and it just melts in your mouth. But perfectly seared tuna is hard and I’m saying this from experience. It can be tough and chewy and you end up eating your meal hanging your head in shame over basically ruining such an amazing piece of fish (again speaking from experience here). Cooking a mediocre meal is never a morale booster…
I mean, look at this gorgeous filet!
But, let’s go back to those positive feelings, because I promise with a little practice and blind faith making a killer seared yellowfin tuna is within your reach!
Yellowfin tuna has quickly become my favorite fish.
As Bianca and Mark from Mermaids Garden explain, Yellowfin tuna or Thunnus albacares is a truly amazing animal. Swimming at speeds approaching 50 miles per hour, yellowfin are equipped with dorsal and pelvic fins that tuck in to increase the animal’s aquadynamics. They are a marvel of elegant design. [And] Tuna is a relatively newly acquired taste for Americans. In 1976, right about the time when the Japanese were really starting to prize tuna, James Beard wrote in his New Fish Cookery, that tuna “is a fish I think is better canned than fresh.” What a difference a few years make- yellowfin is now the mostly highly sought tuna after the imperiled Bluefin.
The key to perfectly seared tuna in my book is to go against your judgement and remember the old adage “less is more.” Once you put that tuna filet into your saute pan, count out loud… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10… get your spatula ready… 11, 12, 13, 14, 15… and immediately transfer it to a place. Do not let it stay in there longer than 15-20 seconds. You want it red in the middle with just a light sear on the outside. This is not the dish to make if you’re juggling two or three different things… if you keep stepping away to hit play on Netflix to quickly watch a bit of whatever show you are binging… the tuna deserves your full attention!
And while you can’t go wrong with a filet that is lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, I like tossing it in a little panko that gives a nice crust on the outside! I’ve made it a couple times with a little soy, ginger, lime sauce for it from a Tyler Florence recipe too, which is equally delicious.
My favorite preparation is panko crusted seared yellow fin tuna with coconut-cilantro rice and sliced avocado with a little dash of sweet soy sauce on the side! This may be my new go-to dinner party dish. It’s impressive. It’s pretty healthy. It has great flavor and it’s easy to prepare!
Seared Tuna with Coconut-Cilantro Rice
1 cup rice, cooked
½ cup coconut milk
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1lb yellowfin tuna filet
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 avocado, sliced
Cook rice per package directions. Once cooked, stir in coconut milk to combine. Fold in chopped cilantro.
Serve with coconut-cilantro rice, sliced avocado and soy sauce.
I mean, look at that! Perfectly cooked – tender and still pink inside! Melt in your mouth delicious… Hell yeah!
- 1 cup rice, cooked
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1lb yellowfin tuna filet
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 avocado, sliced
- soy sauce
- Cook rice per package directions. Once cooked, stir in coconut milk to combine. Fold in chopped cilantro.
- Combine panko, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Coat tuna filet in the panko mixture, pressing the panko on each side.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the tuna filet for about 10-20 seconds on each side (depending on the size of the filet). Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Thinly slice tuna and plate.
- Serve with coconut-cilantro rice, sliced avocado and soy sauce.