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MarketStEl

How Can I Fix Tuna Steaks...

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I'm calling on your collective wisdom to help me with a small problem.

I have in my freezer four thick tuna steaks, the remnant of a larger purchase I made at a fish market on 9th Street three weeks ago.

Two weeks back, I grilled four of the pieces on my countertop grill. I did not marinate or season them in any way.

They tasted okay, but were dry.

I've had grilled tuna dining out that wasn't dry at all, and less bland than these. I assume that what I need to do is perhaps marinate the steaks before grilling? With an oil-based marinade, perhaps?

Or are there other tricks I can perform on the fish to get it to come out moist and flavorful?

I eagerly await your responses.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Sandy, to what doneness do you seek to cook these bad boys? And how thick is "thick"?

Well, I'd like to cook them until they're no longer pink. And they're about 1.5 to 2 inches thick.

Edited to add: Did I say pink? Make that brownish-red.


Edited by MarketStEl (log)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I'm not sure a thick piece of tuna cooked that much is every going to be anything but tough and dry. I did try an approach when serving to some friends who don't like rare tuna - I sliced it into about 1/8" thick slices, seasoned them (I used crushed wasabi peas, along with some salt and pepper) and cooked them in a really hot pan very briefly (less than a minute per side). The texture came out nice, still moist, but cooked through.

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Try poaching in olive oil slowly and cooling.

Fully cooked tuna will always be dry. Was your tuna purchased fresh or frozen? A lot depends on the quality and preservation of the fish. We use sashimi grade tuna for all our needs bcause we serve it raw inside. -Dick

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and don't freeze it next time. it loses its color and texture big time.the olive oil prep is about the best way for frozen other than cooking it rare.

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For grilling, I like to marinate the tuna for about an hour in this mixture:

olive oil

garlic

black pepper

soy sauce

lime juice

diced ginger (optional)

Get the grill hot but have a spot away from the searing heat. Get the chunky bits of garlic and/or ginger off before grilling. Sear both sides over high heat then move away from the fire and finish to desired doneness.

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For grilling, I like to marinate the tuna for about an hour in this mixture:

olive oil

garlic

black pepper

soy sauce

lime juice

diced ginger (optional)

Get the grill hot but have a spot away from the searing heat.  Get the chunky bits of garlic and/or ginger off before grilling.  Sear both sides over high heat then move away from the fire and finish to desired doneness.

This sounds good. I think I'll try this--along with slicing the steaks in half--for my next attempt.

I'm still open to other ideas, though. Thanks to everyone who's chimed in so far!


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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If you want to try a sear or sear then roast I really like to give it a Soy and Honey bath then roll in light untoasted sesame seeds. If it just a steak I sear in a nonstick pan, if I have managed to get the narrow end of a tuna loin in one piece like an eye round roast then I sear and roast it for a few min at 400.

I usually go pan asian when serving becuase I get the tuna at an asian grocery...toasted sesame rice or udon noodles and kimchee and a bok choy stirfry.

T


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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In my offshore fishing days, we used to run into schools of tuna quite often. They were immediately cleaned on deck, steaked, and sent to me in the galley. My favorite way to cook them was to use some olive oil and whatever seasoning I decided on at the time and pop them into the oven, probably about 350F. I then monitored them until they were just done. Exquisite. I have to say that none of us on board would have gone for "rare" tuna. But this was never dry.

Then there was the 600 pounder . . . but that is another story.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I think you need to cut them down to size as recommended above, sear briefly, and finish more slowly. Marinating will help to some degree but it's difficult to cook a thick steak to that degree of doneness without drying it out. You can cook them whole and then slice and drizzle with really quality olive oil (or sesame oil, or hot pepper oil, or...) at plating time to mitigate the dryness to some extent.

I face this a lot because I like mine really thick, really hot-seared, and quite rare but my S.O. prefers something more like what you're talking about. It is a challenge and my batting average is only around 666 on it, but I figure if he wants it that well-done, he has to live with the risk. Thanks for starting the thread; I'm still looking for the fool-proof method as well.

Isn't it great to have a thousand experienced cooks/chefs on your coaching staff? I wonder how many meals/$$$ worth of quality ingredients have been saved by The Society? Quite a few here at the Moose & Squirell Lodge.


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Okay, here goes. The friend whose opinions about my cooking I value won't be coming over for dinner tonight :sad: , but I'll give you a full rundown over on "Dinner!" after everything's done.

This morning, I took the tuna steaks--which I'd say were about 2 inches thick--and cut them in half. Then I prepared the olive oil marinade described upthread, put the steaks in a storage bag and poured the marinade over them.

I have my countertop grill at the ready. It has no cold spots I'm aware of, but it heats up and cools down quickly. I figure I can achieve the proper searing effect by turning it to High at the outset, cooking the steaks briefly on each side, then turning the grill down to Low to heat the steaks through.

Finally, I will probably not cook them until they're completely beige. I think I'll serve them medium-rare and see how that goes over.

Wish me luck, folks.

And thanks again for all your suggestions!


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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My wife likes them more done so what I will do is sear both over high heat, leaving the center very rare and set aside. Then I either simmer the marinate or make some type of a soy based sauce and reduce it in the pan. Then I add the tuna that I want more done and let it simmer with the sauce to get it to a medium well temp. It seems to retain the moisture fairly well. I then slice the tuna and pur the sauce over it, so even if the more well done tuna is dry it is moistened by the sauce.

On a side note, I marinated tuna on Malibu coconut rum for about 30 minutes, seasoned with jerk, and seared them. The coconut rum worked very well with the tuna.


Explore the food, beverages, and people of Wisconsin EatWisconsin.com

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Well, the olive oil and soy sauce marinade worked--and cutting the steaks in half allowed them to cook through without becoming completely dry.

I'm trying to post images to the "Dinner!" thread, but I'm having problems with ImageGullet. You can view the thumbnails in my "General Pix" album if you like.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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bump

I have some frozen tuna steaks from Costco. I tried defrosting, seasoning and searing. They were basically flavorless--they tasted watery and not at all tender inside. The steaks are cryovaced so I really don't think they are freezer-burnt. I still have a few. What can I do with them to make them better? If I had a smoker I'd smoke them and make a smoked tuna dip, but that's not possible. I'm looking for something a little more interesting than "try this marinade and then sear them." I really like my tuna steaks seared rare in the middle, but that's obviously not gonna happen with these specimens. I'm never buying them again, that's for sure.

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well first of it depends very much on what kind of tuna you buy.. most of the tuna sold cut and frosen are yellowtail and big eye tuna and then it is the back tail piece most of the time..

So if you grill it at high temperature the tuna will get a little shewe best is like someone said poched in olive oil, then it will get tender and good flavor ..


Best regards,

Gilbert

Food blog - www.floss.dk

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One of our local restaurants serves tuna wrapped in prosciutto, grilled and served with a sauce. I don't order it because I like tuna prepared simply but I might try it at home if I had frozen tuna to use up.

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bump

I have some frozen tuna steaks from Costco. I tried defrosting, seasoning and searing. They were basically flavorless--they tasted watery and not at all tender inside. The steaks are cryovaced so I really don't think they are freezer-burnt. I still have a few. What can I do with them to make them better? If I had a smoker I'd smoke them and make a smoked tuna dip, but that's not possible. I'm looking for something a little more interesting than "try this marinade and then sear them." I really like my tuna steaks seared rare in the middle, but that's obviously not gonna happen with these specimens. I'm never buying them again, that's for sure.

If these are the 3 lb bags of tuna steaks (usually 6 steaks), caught off the coast of Viet Nam, flash frozen, and cryovac'ed, they are as fresh as they come, but the defrosting process and then grilling, etc, is guaranteed to give you dry, tasteless meat.

My alternative (and it also is a reply to the poster who originated this topic) is to use a braising technique, baking in lots of liquid or steaming, ie, wet heat cooking. My favorite recipe is from a now defunct magazine, Simply Seafood, for Maltese Baked Tuna ... and I just happen to have posted the recipe elsewhere: Maltese Baked Tuna (originally from Simply Seafood)

Tell me what you think and if it's good enough, I'll post it in eGullet Recipes as well.

Regards,

Jason


JasonZ

Philadelphia, PA, USA and Sandwich, Kent, UK

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Its the feezing that causes the dryness. The water in the fresh meat expands when frozen, upon thawing it just runs (hence the plate of liquid during thaw). Your only hope is to eother marinate with a fat(oil) or to cook in a fat.

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