How To Pick Out A Tuna Steak Recipe That Works For You

While it is certainly a cliché to use the words "simple" and "elegant" when discussing food, there really is no better way to describe the variety of flavor to look for in a recipe for tuna steak. Thanks to the fish's highly athletic nature, it has a strong muscular complex, making its meat incredibly rich, tender, and mildly sweet. Far from delicate, this cut of fish cooks very much like a beef steak. Therefore, you ought to be flavoring and pairing your tuna steak in ways that complement its nature.

Tuna steaks do well with a more minimal approach. You want seasonings and accompaniments that are simple and elegant. (Insert eyeroll). These add-ins should maintain their own character, but not overpower the sweetness of the tuna meat. So whether you are devising your own or searching for a new recipe to try, look for ones whose ingredients work to elevate the fish's natural flavors rather than mask them. 

What does this look like? Well, first and foremost, it depends upon your own taste. Tuna is an adaptable protein — one that works well with a smattering of different oils, sauces, herbs, and spices. So, while you should stick to the rule of simplicity, there is no reason why you cannot get creative and use flavors that you like.

Simple flavors for tuna steak

There are two aspects to consider when it comes to flavors in a tuna steak recipe: the seasoning of the steak itself, and the side dishes. For the fish, stick to the basics. Salt, pepper, olive oil, a little lemon juice, and sesame seeds are all classic tuna steak seasonings. If you're planning on marinating the tuna, a soy sauce and honey mix is an excellent option. On the herb and spice front, coriander, fennel, paprika, dried oregano, or even cinnamon works well for this meaty fish. More assertive ingredients, like garlic, onions, or chile flakes, can still be used — but sparingly since they could very easily mask the taste of the tuna meat.

You can be a little more flavor-heavy with the side dishes. An acidic tomato salad with basil, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil or a peppery bed of arugula are both great, light options. If you want an accompaniment with a bit more body, go for roasted potatoes seasoned with thyme, oregano, basil, nutmeg, and lemon. You could even whip up some kind of relish or chutney to spoon on top of the finished steak.

Clearly, there are options here. Tuna steak is not delicate in the way cod, haddock, or other white fish might be. It can stand up to a fair bit of seasoning. Experiment and see what you like. Just remember to keep it simple, and don't overpower your steak.