If you enjoy canned but sometimes water-logged tuna, just wait until you taste white albacore tuna steaks. The flavor might strike you as vaguely familiar, but the depth and richness of the steak is bound to take you by a pleasant surprise. Like other types of fish, this so-called “white meat tuna” is best prepared over a medium-high flame and with little seasoning. In fact, because heat can quickly drain the moisture and tenderness of albacore, it’s almost better to “undercook” the steaks and revel in the tenderness and flavor on which the tuna stakes its name.
Things You'll Need
- Paper towels
- Olive or sesame oil
- Saute pan
- Instant-read thermometer
- Baking dish
- Nonfat cooking spray or white wine
- Apple or lemon slices
Prepare the Steaks
Rinse the albacore tuna steaks under running water. Pat them dry or allow them to dry on paper towels.
Rub the steaks with olive or sesame oil and sprinkle them with salt. Then choose your seasonings. A little cinnamon and allspice will go a long way toward leaving a definitive sweet aftertaste on the tuna. For a mild and nutty flavor, try some toasted sesame seeds.
Sear the tuna steaks over medium-high heat for about one to two minutes, tops, on one side, then another one or two minutes on the other in a saute pan. Searing will create a crispy texture on the exterior of the fish–a nice contrast with the softness of the tuna—no matter how you choose to cook them. Finish off the steaks in the pan, if you choose, by cooking them for no more than four minutes on each side.
Test the internal temperature of the tuna. It should reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit with an instant-read thermometer. When cut into with a fork, the tuna should fall gently in your direction.
Broil Indoors or Grill the Steaks Outdoors
Broil your seared tuna steaks in the oven for about 10 minutes, turning once about halfway through. Or place the steaks on a hot grill, cooking them for about seven minutes for a finished state of medium-rare or for about nine minutes for a medium state. Turn them over once during this cooking time.
Cook the fish over indirect heat or turn down the flame if you’re nervous about it burning. The biggest risk in cooking fish is overcooking it, and tuna is arguably at its best when the middle is tender and juicy. So err on the side of undercooking the tuna steaks.
Test the doneness of the tuna with the thermometer before serving.
Bake the Steaks
Heat your oven to 375 F. Spray a baking dish with nonfat cooking spray or mix a little white wine and water and place the seared tuna steaks in the dish. Add some vegetables or potatoes, if you wish, but be sure to soften them first since the tuna will cook quickly in the oven, too.
Reduce the chance of a “fishy” tuna smell permeating your kitchen by baking the tuna with some apple or lemon slices. The fruit will help absorb the aromas.
Bake the tuna steaks for about 15 minutes, but check them with the thermometer to be certain they’re done.
Tips & Warnings
- Chop up any leftover albacore for salads and top with mandarin orange segments for a culinary treat.
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