Tuna steaks are upscale, as in restaurant upscale. If you’ve never had them before, don’t think for a second that they’re similar to the canned stuff; they taste completely different! Baked Tuna Balsamic Steak Recipe is a must-try.
Tuna is a noble fish with a lot of flavor, and it’s ridiculously simple to prepare. However, it is also very easy to overcook!
How do you make the best tuna balsamic steaks? For me, that means slathering a thick steak in a sweet and sour glaze and baking it to flaky perfection with a pink core.
HOW TO COOK A BAKED TUNA BALSAMIC STEAK?
Purchase a few high-quality yellow-fin tuna steaks. Check that they are fresh and at room temperature; if they are frozen or too cold, they will not cook properly in the oven.
We’ll season the steaks with olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
That’s my trick: the tiny garlic bits stuck in the fish roast in the oven and nicely infuse the fish. You can also incorporate the garlic into the glaze for a similar effect.
To make the balsamic glaze, simply combine balsamic vinegar (the real deal) and brown sugar.
The best things in life are never difficult to understand! You don’t need to season the glaze because the steaks are already seasoned with salt.
In my experience, 10 to 12 minutes in the oven is enough to cook a tuna steak halfway through, and you don’t even need to flip them.
The heat from the baking tray cooks the steak from below — tuna is extremely delicate in this way!
WHEN TO SERVE BAKED TUNA BALSAMIC STEAKS?
Tuna steaks are the ideal dinner for impressing someone on a date night, and as you can see, you don’t even need to be a great cook to turn them into a restaurant-quality meal!
HOW TO COOK TUNA STEAKS PERFECTLY EVERY TIME (THE EASY PEASY WAY!)
- Purchase tuna that is about 112 cm (half an inch) thick.
- Remove the tuna from the refrigerator and open the package. Drizzle the tuna steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then rub the olive oil all over to coat the tuna evenly.
- Heat a nonstick griddle pan (or regular nonstick frying pan) over high heat for 1 minute while heating the dry frying pan. There should be no oil in the pan.
- Cook the tuna for 1 minute on each side in a hot pan. Then immediately remove from the pan.
- And presto! You should have perfectly cooked tuna with a brown top and bottom but a pink center. If you use a griddle pan, it will also have nice char lines.
- If you prefer tuna that is fully cooked (but not overcooked), cook it for 112 minutes on each side and it should be just cooked through. If in doubt, cut one open to see what’s inside.
HOW LONG TO COOK TUNA STEAKS
When learning how to cook fresh tuna, don’t cook your tuna steaks until no pink remains in the center.
To keep them moist and delicious, remove them from the heat while the center is still pink, using the cooking times specified in the three methods listed above.
HOW TO SEASON TUNA
The first step in your comprehensive guide to cooking tuna fish is to add your desired flavor enhancers.
- Check for scales before cooking tuna steaks. Rinse with cool water if any are present. Using paper towels, pat dry. To determine how long to cook tuna steak, use a ruler to measure the thickness of the fish.
- Fresh tuna steaks benefit from a good marinade recipe, which flavors this relatively mild fish while also keeping it moist during cooking. It only requires a short marinating time, ranging from 15 minutes to 4 hours in the refrigerator. Tuna goes particularly well with Asian-inspired flavors.
- Instead of marinating, brush the fish with olive oil or melted butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Brush tuna with olive oil and lemon juice, then season with fresh herbs (such as rosemary or tarragon), salt, and ground black pepper. Alternatively, try one of these delectable spice blends.
HOW TO BUY AND STORE FRESH TUNA
If you start with a good piece of tuna, any method of cooking it will yield the best results. Here’s what you should look for.
- Fresh tuna comes in a long loin that is cut into tuna steaks by a fishmonger (a person or retailer who sells fish). Tuna season typically runs from late spring to early fall, but it is available frozen all year. If you’re wondering how to cook frozen tuna steak, simply follow the same instructions as above after thawing the tuna steaks in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.
- Raw tuna ranges in color from light pink to reddish-brown, depending on the variety. It is possible to have a dark portion on the steak that is edible but has a stronger flavor. This section is sometimes trimmed before you buy it.
- Tuna steaks are available skinned. Look for tuna with moist flesh and a fresh, pleasant, rather than fishy, odor.
- When shopping, allow for one 4- to 5-ounce tuna steak per person. Cook tuna on the same day you buy it for maximum freshness.
HOW TO MAKE SEARED TUNA STEAK
Pat the thawed, raw tuna steak dry with a paper towel. The exterior will be finished next season.
You can season it simply with salt and pepper, or you can roll it in sesame seeds, as we did for our sesame seared tuna Buddha bowls, one of our favorite healthy tuna recipes.
You can also use a dry rub, as we do in this blackened tuna recipe.
Slightly cool. Put the tuna in an 11 X 7 X 1 1/2 in. a baking dish Pour the marinade over the tuna. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
Remove the tuna from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Preheat the grill. Arrange the tuna on the grill, with the thickest portions on the outside.
Turn the tuna steaks over and baste with the marinade. Serve right away with the warm marinade.
HOW TO BAKE TUNA STEAKS
Here’s how to cook tuna steak in the oven so you can use your stovetop to make a side dish.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place tuna steaks in a single layer on a greased baking sheet ($9, Target) or sheet pan. Brush the tuna steaks with melted butter or olive oil and season to taste if they haven’t been marinated.
- Bake for 4 to 6 minutes per 12-inch thickness of fish, or until fish begins to flake but is still pink in the center when tested with a fork.
Frequently Asked Questions
For direct grilling, heat the grill to high. Brush both sides of the tuna with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the tuna for 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown and slightly charred on both sides and cooked to medium-rare doneness.
Heat the canola oil until it is very hot. Arrange the tuna in the pan without crowding it and sear for 15 seconds on each side, making sure to sear the edges as well. The sear should only penetrate the tuna steaks by 1/8-inch or less.
Ideally, the tuna steak should be about 2cm/34 in thick so that it is slightly pink in the center when cooked. Adjust your cooking time accordingly if they are different widths.
Cooking ahi tuna all the way through is perfectly fine. The only risk to your meal from overcooking is that overcooked tuna can be quite dry (think canned tuna). Below are instructions for cooking ahi tuna to medium-rare and medium.