Our Favorite Rub for Tuna Steaks (Recipe)

Our Favorite Rub for Tuna Steaks (Recipe)

Our Favorite Rub for Tuna Steaks (Recipe)

Our most protein dense meal over here is tuna steaks. We buy quality fresh tuna at Costco, and often make it for guests, or holidays, or shown here, on average Thursday evenings (since Thursday is the day we go to Costco). This is our younger daughter’s favorite (see last photo) and we almost always serve it with my Herbed Lemon Pepper Butter Sauce, although if you are pinched for time, a squeeze of lemon will also do very nicely. If using the sauce, have it ready before you put the tuna on to cook.

Most important to the application of any fish rub is to have your fish thawed and dried off well with paper towels. Besides obviously adding terrific flavor, the rub locks in the internal moisture, and also keeps it from sticking either on your grill or grill pan. We usually make this on the stove on a dry grill pan, and it does not stick. If you do not overcook the fish, it does not get dried out either.

People like their tuna steaks in various range of doneness. We like ours barely pink, and sometimes we slice our steaks horizontally to have more the shape and height of a pork chop, so it is easier and quicker to cook to perfection. If you like your piece more rare, stick with it at its maximum thickness. Either way, turn it once when you can see it cooked halfway up the side; you’ll know because it will change color.  Then cook the other side shorter or longer depending on desired doneness. I feel cutting in and peeking is perfectly acceptable if you want to ensure the steaks are exactly as desired. Just cover your incision up with sauce and no one is the wiser.

These cook quickly– just two to three minutes per side on medium high. Make sure you get your pan hot first before placing the tuna steaks on for cooking.

When my sister was here last summer, she was dubious about being served tuna steaks at my house, thinking she wouldn’t like it. I encouraged her to give it a try anyway, and to her surprise, she did like it. The next night we went out to a nice, pricy restaurant where she could order what she wanted. Afterwards, she told me my meal of the tuna was far better than the expensive one of her choice. Now she is making this tuna herself for her family.

And did I say it is easy and quick? Lovely qualities for a crowd pleaser.

Anyway, since guests repeatedly ask for this recipe (which by the way I created completely on my own) here it is. The recipe below is more of a proportion thing. You will need more or less of it depending on the size and quantity of your steaks. And yes, I buy coriander now frequently.

Recipe for Polly’s Rub for Tuna Steaks

2 towel dried Tuna steaks
3 Tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt

Mix on a plate and press towel dried tuna steaks in the rub until well covered on all sides. Cook on a dry grill pan that is already warmed to medium high, for 2-3 minutes per side, until desired doneness. Serve with sauce (link again here) or fresh lemon.


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  1. Heidi 6 years ago

    Love, love, love this recipe! ?


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