The Secret To Gordon Ramsay's Seared Tuna Is Lots Of Lime Zest

Perfectly seared tuna is one of those deceptively simple dishes. It doesn't require fancy gadgets or unusual ingredients, instead relying on timing and technique in the kitchen. Seared or marinated too long and your gorgeous tuna steak turns into a brick — hard, dry, and disappointing on the plate. It's the sort of dish that might provoke an epic Gordon Ramsay tantrum.

Whether you're a fan of the notoriously mercurial Chef Ramsay or not, there's no denying the man can cook, and the MasterClass exposition of his seared tuna technique is a primer in precision. Ramsay opts to crust the tuna in sesame seeds, one of our favorite approaches, as the toasted seeds add a delicious nutty depth to a fresh tuna steak. And lime zest is the perfect ingredient to brighten up expertly seared tuna, enhancing the toasted seeds and adding lift to the entire dish. Ramsay's strategy is to employ lots of that lime zest.

How does Gordon Ramsay use lime zest in his seared tuna?

Ramsay doesn't add lime zest as an afterthought or a mere garnish. He goes all in. Before he crusts the tuna steak with sesame seeds, he adds a generous coating of lime zest, applied directly to the fresh tuna after brushing the fish with egg whites to help the citrus adhere. Once the tuna is coated in sesame seeds, it's seared just briefly over medium-high heat, making sure to pull the tuna from the skillet well before it's cooked entirely through.

Once the seared tuna is on the plate, Ramsay reaches for the zester again, giving the entire dish a fresh hit of fragrant lime zest. Employing citrus zest throughout the cooking and plating process is a win for seared tuna. As it does for so many dishes both savory and sweet, the citrus zest adds freshness in flavor and aroma.