Seared Tuna Steak with Tangy Cilantro Sauce

Tuna is a low-fat fish and can become dry and bland when cooked through. By cooking it till rare, you get a pleasant combination of cooked and rare textures.


1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and picked over

¼ cup water

2 teaspoons plus 1 pinch salt

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

½ cup safflower or canola oil

1 12–16-ounce tuna steak

Pinch pepper

Pinch salt

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Roughly chop the cilantro. Place in a blender with the water, 2 teaspoons salt, and vinegar. Pulse on liquefy for several minutes until the contents are smooth. Pour the safflower oil in slowly while the blender runs. Taste and season with salt as needed.

  • Rinse the tuna under cold water and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it is heated through, add the garlic cloves and olive oil. Toss to coat and move the cloves to the edges of the pan.

  • Place the tuna in the middle of the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on the first side. Flip it to the second side and cook for 1 minute. This will make it rare.

  • If you prefer a medium-done tuna, cook for 4 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second with the skillet over medium heat.

  • Slice the steak against the grain and drizzle the cilantro sauce over the fish. Serve while warm.

Use the Rest of the Sauce

This recipe makes a cup of sauce and you'll likely use ¼ cup or less, but don't discard the remainder. You can use it as a salad dressing, drizzle it over sliced fresh tomatoes, or mix it into potatoes or rice as a side. You can store it in a tightly sealed container for a few weeks in your refrigerator.

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