A meaty tuna steak has lots of flavor and pairs well with a variety of foods, depending on how you cook it and how you season it. Seasonality comes into play, too, because the side dishes you serve with marinated, grilled tuna during the summer are not the same ones you serve with pan-fried tuna steaks in the winter.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking any fish until it registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer.
Soups and Salad
- Make a cool gazpacho soup with avocados, tomatoes, tomato juice, cilantro cucumbers and green onions -- all foods whose flavors complement tuna.
- Pair the tuna with crisp foods that contrast with its smooth, meaty texture. Serve a Greek cucumber and dill salad or Spanish-inspired salad with bell peppers, parsley, olives and toasted almonds.
- With grilled or pan-fried tuna, serve a juicy fruit salad to balance tuna's often dry texture with oranges and tangerines in winter and nectarines and blueberries, dressed with lime juice, in the summer.
- Add a few chopped anchovies and olives to green beans and potatoes. This vegetable dish mimics Salade Nicoise, which is a French salad with tuna mixed in.
- Serve roasted beets with a drizzle of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar for a vegetable whose intense flavor stands up well to tuna.
- In the winter, serve a side dish of spinach sauteed with garlic, creamed spinach, garlic-mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes for flavors that go well with tuna.
- In summer, make skewers for grilling alongside tuna with zucchini, red peppers and onions.
- Any type of pasta, dressed with lemon juice, butter and lots of chopped parsley, provides a light balance to meaty tuna.
- White beans or fava beans work well with tuna, adding creaminess to the meal. Season the beans with garlic, salt, pepper and chopped, fresh thyme.
- Serve rice flavored in the same way you've seasoned the tuna, with an Asian-inspired seasoning of sesame oil, soy sauce and fresh ginger or with spicy cumin and chopped cilantro mixed in to accompany tuna with spicy seasoning.
- Go tropical for dessert to match tuna's origins by serving broiled or grilled pineapple with lime juice and toasted coconut. Top the pineapple with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
- Serve a medley of oranges, including regular and blood oranges, sprinkled with candied ginger. The oranges provide a refreshing and light taste after a hearty tuna-steak meal.