This grilled tuna seasoned with cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic, and lime juice has a bit of a kick but when you serve it with the sweet cilantro lime dressing, it is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. By making a wet rub, you can control the amount of spice for you, your family and guests. Add another 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne for more heat or eliminate it all together in the rub and sprinkle it on each steak as needed.
For the dressing, use avocado oil since it has a high smoke point to withstand the heat from the grill. Almond or Rice Bran oil will also work since their smoke points are around 500 degrees. If you are using the dressing for vegetables or a chicken salad, you can use a mild olive oil.
Some marinade the tuna in oil and seasonings for an hour or overnight to prevent the steak from drying out too quickly when cooking. You have to be careful what is in a marinade when preparing seafood. Vinegar and acidic, citrus juices will cook the fish. This dressing should not be used to marinade for a long period of time.
This dressing works well as a coating or quick marinade while you prepare the rub. I do recommend using a marinade or squeezing lemon or lime juice over the tuna since it may reduce your exposure to Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) which are considered human carcinogens. Studies have shown spices such as rosemary, citrus like lemons and limes, and vinegar marinades help inhibit these HCAs from attaching to the meat during grilling.
You may prefer your tuna to be on the rare side or cooked at a medium temperature. If you are like me and raw fish makes you a little squeamish, then cook these steaks for 3 to 5 minutes per side depending on the thickness. Once the red meat turns beige about 1/3 of the way on the side, it is time to flip them. It is very easy to overcook tuna steaks so stay near the grill.
This tuna is from our neighbor who just returned from Florida on a deep sea fishing trip. We can easily serve this tuna as sushi or sear the outside and feel safe eating it. You decide how long you want to cook your steaks based on the quality of the fish and your texture preference.
To make this meal even more nutritious, serve the fish with a vegetable salad. Chop a large organic cucumber, organic red and yellow bell pepper, 2 or 3 green onions, a tablespoon of cilantro, and a firm tomato. Then pour the dressing over the vegetable salad and plate with the tuna. My kids ate more vegetables than tuna and even asked for some to be packed as a snack for school tomorrow.
I need to thank Anne Koch for giving me this idea. She served me a bowl of her vegetable salad with garbanzo and navy beans, and feta cheese crumbles today. It was so good I wanted to make more tonight and found this recipe online.
1) Make the dressing by pouring 1/2 cup avocado oil, 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup cane sugar, 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard or use some Dijon or Honey Mustard, 1/2 teaspoon Back to Organic Margarita Himalayan Salt or Himalayan Salt or a good Sea Salt, 1/2 inch piece of peeled ginger (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger), zest from 1 organic lime, and 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro into your Vitamix or powerful blender. Puree until smooth. There will be cilantro pieces floating around.
2) Marinade the tuna steaks for about 10 minutes. Do not marinade for long or you will start cooking the tuna.
3) Mix the 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1 clove of pressed or minced garlic (1/2 teaspoon garlic granules) in a bowl. Smear the wet rub on top of the tuna and mix some in the dressing. This is how you can control the amount of spice on each steak.
3) Grill the tuna steaks on your outdoor gas or wood burning grill or indoors on a cast iron grill plate. For medium steaks, cook about 5 minutes on each side. Thinner steaks will cook more quickly than thicker ones.
4) Serve with a refreshing vegetable salad tossed in the Cilantro Lime Dressing. Drizzle some dressing over the tuna as well. The sweetness in the dressing balances the spice in the wet rub.
The Ultimate Cookbook
Grilled Florida Tuna
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes
½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 (1/2-inch) thick tuna steaks (about 1 pound)
Combine first 5 ingredients. Brush on steaks. Cook, covered with grill lid, over medium coals (300 to 350 degrees) 5 to 7 minutes on each side to desired degree of doneness. Yield: 4 servings.