Marinating your tuna before you grill it adds extra flavor and also helps to seal in moisture. Tuna cooks best over a very high heat, because the outsides sear and go crispy while the inside remains juicy and pink. This is the best way to serve it.
Although tuna is excellent for grilling, it can dry out if overcooked, and ‘overcooked’ with tuna usually means anything beyond medium-rare, because it is a lean fish and does not have much fat to keep it moist. The solution to this is either to use an oil-based marinade or to rub plenty of oil over the fish steaks before adding them to the grill. Also oil the grate on the grill. This serves to stop the fish sticking, as well as to ensure it stays moist.
The following marinade is made with garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and bay leaves, and gives the tuna a subtle yet delicious flavor. Serve the tuna hot with fries or perhaps homemade potato salad. Some slices of lemon or lime are a traditional garnish for a grilled tuna recipe, so people can squeeze the juice over their tuna steak if they so desire.
- 4 tuna steaks, 6 to 8 oz each, and 1 inch thick
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ cup olive oil
- 8 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 portions fries, to serve
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Combine the garlic, basil, salt, oregano, and pepper.
- Add the oil a bit at a time until you get the consistency of a spreadable paste.
- Pat the tuna dry with paper towels.
- Cover both sides with the marinade paste.
- Put the fish in a small dish and add the rest of the olive oil.
- Flip the tuna to get oil on both sides and then add a bay leaf to the top and bottom side of each tuna steak.
- Cover and refrigerate for 3 or 4 hours.
- Rinse and dry the tuna and then rub a little oil over both sides.
- Preheat the grill for high heat and brush oil on to the grill.
- Grill the fish, rotating it 90 degrees after 2 minutes to get crisscross grill-marks, or not rotating it for single grill-marks.
- Grilling will take a total of about 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness and doneness.
- Serve with fries (if you like) as well as lemon wedges.
Tuna is one of the best things to put on the grill, so if you usually limit your grilling repertoire to steak, chicken and burgers, consider grilling tuna steaks next time. Not only does tuna make a nice change from meat, but also you will get a totally different flavor when you marinate and then grill your fish. Fresh tuna has a unique flavor and it is very good for you. Although an easy way to grill tuna is simply to rub oil over it then add salt and black pepper, and grill it for a few minutes over a hot fire, marinating the fish is worthwhile because then you will get extra flavor and a wonderful moistness too.
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