Sesame Ginger Tuna

I got a chance to go tuna fishing just over a week ago off the Oregon Coast on Secret Island Charters with some guys from work and one of our subcontractors.  We had a blast, and were blessed with 1) awesome weather (forecasts were dubious that day) and 2) one hell of a run of fish.  In only 2-1/2 hours from dropping the first bait in the water, we had 75 tuna on board and no more room to put them.  Even though I got sick on the way out (I’m definitely not going to consider a second career in the Navy), I was fine once we started fishing and had a great time.

Of course, the real advantage to a successful day fishing is that you get to bring home fish. In this case, a whole lot of fish.  Each one of those tuna yields out around 8~9 lbs of fillets. Split 6 ways, that comes out to enough tuna to keep me from having to buy “Chicken of the Sea” at least until I manage to find another subcontractor to sponsor next year’s trip.  So, while I’m having most of my share canned to ease storage (and make it more easily used on short notice), I kept about 17 lbs worth of fillets and vacuum sealed them in the freezer for grilling.  And when we decided to have all the CFFV coaches and spouses up for dinner at our house over Labor Day weekend, I figured it was a good time to try out a recipe for grilled tuna.

Start by cutting your tuna fillets into 1″ thick steaks.  The recipe I’m posting will marinade about 2 lbs of these steaks – which is the bigger of these two fillets.  Simple math should get you through any adjustments you need if you’ve got more or less than what I’ve got.  And you don’t need a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon either.  Just search Kitchen Conversions and learn that 1 tablespoon is 3 teaspoons, which means that 1/2 a tablespoon is, well, 1-1/2 teaspoons (I bet you have a half-teaspoon measuring spoon).  Of course, I’m nowhere near that exact anyway, so just eyeball the tablespoon about half full if you’re needing that much, and I’m sure you’ll be just fine.  Because I didn’t even bother with the spoon at all.

Where were we…oh yes.  Got that tuna cut up?  Set it aside.  Move on to the marinade.

Round up:

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp EVOO (that’s extra-virgin olive oil…now you know)
  • ~1″ fresh ginger root
  • 2 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1 lime

Put the oils in a small bowl with the black pepper.  Peel and mince the ginger root and add it in.  Zest and juice half the lime and add it in, making sure to get all the lime pulp too.  Mix it all up with a whisk, then pour it into a gallon resealable bag.

Throw in the tuna steaks and toss everything around to coat well.  Then press as much air out as you can and seal the bag and put it in the fridge to marinate for about 4 hours.  About 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook, pull them out and let them come up to room temperature.

Heat up the grill to HOT (my POS falling-apart gas grill will get me about 450* with all the burners on high…ideally you’d want to be a little closer to 500+, but this is what I’ve got to work with).  Grill the steaks around 4 minutes per side to sear the outside and leave the inside nice and rare but just warm.  If you want it a little more medium, then go about 6 minutes a side.  Serve with some Melon Pineapple Salsa on the side, a little Wasabi Teriyaki drizzled over the top, and some kind of tossed green salad and you’re all set.

This photo is leftovers the next day, and it still looks good!