This recipe for seared tuna steaks with lemon, caper & parsley butter is a quick and easy low-carb recipe. The capers, olive oil, lemon zest & juice, and butter make a luscious and vibrant sauce to pair with the meaty tuna. With only a handful of ingredients, this delicious dish comes together in minutes making it perfect for a weeknight supper.
I sourced locally caught yellowfin tuna which worked a treat, but any high-quality tuna will work with this recipe. The sauce is like piccata but without the flour to thicken.
What to serve with tuna steaks
I opted for a classic accompaniment that doesn’t overpower the flavour-packed tuna. Boiled new potatoes tossed in parsley butter and lightly steamed fresh asparagus. Green beans would work well too.
A simple mixed green salad was the third addition because I love a well-dressed green salad.
A crusty loaf of bread I s essential to mop up the delicious butter sauce.
To make the potatoes boil them in salted water until knife, tender, drain and gently toss with salted butter and chopped parsley.
To steam the asparagus, blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes and then drain and serve immediately. Steamed green beans would work well here too.
Other salads that would pair with this tuna are fennel and radish salad with lemon and olive oil, new potato salad with fennel and radish, or spinach salad with grilled zucchini, feta, and mint.
I developed this recipe to pair with Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Reserve 2021 which was released in October last year. The tasting notes for this wine are: “An evolution in our exploration of Chardonnay, find delicate orange blossoms and grapefruit on the nose, with citrus, melon, and toasted notes on the palate supported by good structure and integrated oak. With lively acidity, expect a fresh finish.”
How to cook tuna steaks
- Tuna cooks quite quickly so make sure you don’t overcook these steaks which can make them dry like tinned tuna. Rather err on the side of underdone in order to get a bushing pink interior. The fish will carry over cooking once you take it off the heat.
- The perfect tuna steak is nicely seared on the outside with a pink raw middle. The reason is this cut is from the loin which is quite lean with minimal fat so it has a tendency to dry out when overcooked. Keeping the inside pink (or raw) ensures the meat is juicy.
- Buy high-quality sushi-grade tuna that smells fresh and not fishy. The flesh should be moist but not slimy.
- Heat a cast iron skillet to flaming hot or a gas grill. A non-stick pan will not reach high enough temperatures. Brush the fish with oil and season the fish. Do not put oil on the skillet. It will just cause smoke and burn.
- Cook your tuna steaks for about 1 1/2 minutes on the first side and about 1 minute on the second side. The internal temperature should be around 48C (118F).
- To ensure you get neat crisscross patterns on the fish, do not move the steak once it’s on the grill. Rotate it 45 degrees after 45 seconds. Repeat on the other side but flip at around 30 seconds.
- Allow the tuna steaks to cool on a raised cooling rack to minimize carry-over cooking.
Recipes – serves 4
Seared tuna steaks with lemon, caper & parsley butter
- 800 gm – 1 kg Fresh tuna steaks
- Olive oil
- Sea salt & pepper
- 100 gms salted butter
- 3 Tbs baby capers
- 21/2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- Caperberries and lemon wedges to garnish
- Brushed the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large griddle or non-stick frying pan to medium-high heat.
- Cook the steaks on each side for about 3 – 5 minutes depending on the thickness. If you want the steaks to be pink in the middle, ensure you take them off the heat in time. They will carry on cooking a bit after they have been removed.
- Put the butter, capers, parsley, and lemon juice in a small pot and bring to a bubble. Pour this over the seared tuna steaks to serve. Garnish with caperberries and lemon wedges.
- Boiled new potatoes tossed in butter and parsley are an excellent side for this dish as is cooked asparagus and a green salad.