Grilled Tuna with Cucumber Salad Recipe
Quality tuna needs little embellishment when it comes to grilling. Just a quick sear on each side and you’ve got a pescatarian version of a delicious rare steak. Nuoc cham—a Vietnamese fish-sauce-based condiment—is the foundation for a flavor-packed dressing in the crunchy salad here. Add some cold rice noodles and you have a healthy, Asian-inspired meal.
Game plan: To keep the fish from sticking to the grill, once the grill is hot, use the scraper to remove any residue from previous grilling sessions. Then follow the instructions for oiling the grill right before cooking.
This dish was featured as part of our Recipes to Help You Conquer Your Fish-Grilling Fears.
For the salad:
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon grated, peeled fresh ginger (from about a 2- to 3-inch piece)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced
- 1 Thai bird chile, stemmed and minced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 English cucumber (about 8 ounces), sliced into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
For the tuna:
- 4 (1-inch-thick) sushi-grade tuna steaks (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- Vegetable oil, for oiling the tuna and the grill
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped roasted, salted peanuts
- Place the fish sauce, ginger, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chile in a medium, nonreactive bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until combined. Add the carrot and cucumber and stir until evenly coated; set aside.
For the tuna:
- Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high (about 450°F to 550°F).
- Meanwhile, pat the tuna dry with paper towels. Rub the fish on both sides with a thin layer of vegetable oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
- When the grill is ready, rub the grates with a towel dipped in vegetable oil. Place the tuna on the grill and cook undisturbed until dark grill marks appear, about 2 minutes. Using a flat spatula, flip the fish and cook until grill marks appear on the second side but the middle is still rare, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the tuna to a cutting board.
- Add the cilantro to the salad, stir to combine, and divide the salad evenly among 4 plates. Slice each tuna steak against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and place over the salad. Sprinkle with the peanuts and serve immediately.