Yesterday night I made grilled tuna for the first time. And the consensus is that the results were mighty fine. So good, in fact, that paying restaurant prices for the fish was still worth it. (Yeah, tuna is a bit more pricy than I expected...)

Grilled Tuna

Here's what you need to make the marinade spread:

4 peeled garlic cloves
1 tablespoon coarse salt (sea salt)
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (possibly more)
4 tuna steaks (6-8 ounces each, roughly 1 inch thick)
8 bay leaves

And how to do it:

  1. Combine the garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil in a mortar and grind it into a paste with pestle. Add the olive oil a bit at a time until you achieve the consistency o of a spreadable paste.
  2. Rinse the tuna steaks under cold water and blot dry with a paper towel. Then cover both sides of the tuna with the marinade paste. Put the tuna into a small baking dish or pan and add the extra olive oil. Flip the tuna to get oil on both sides and then add a bay leaf to the top and bottom side of each tuna steak.
  3. Cover the tuna steaks and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Finally, cooking instructions:

Rinse and dry the tuna steaks and then apply a little olive oil to both sides. Pre-heat the grill for high heat, brush oil onto the grill, and begin grilling the tuna. After 2 minutes, rotate the steaks 45 to 90 degrees for cosmetic grill marks. Grilling will take a total of 4-6 minutes on each side depending on thickness and taste.

The final product (once sampled) looks like this:

Grilled Tuna

And it's quite good. :-)


See Also: Using a 20 Pound Propane Tank with the Weber Baby Q Grill

Posted by jzawodn at July 09, 2008 07:10 AM

Reader Comments
# Jeffrey Friedl said:

Or, skip all that hassle, and sprinkle a bit of good soy sauce, and eat sashimi style ;-)

on July 9, 2008 08:03 AM
# Juan Pablo Montoya said:

You could simplify this recipe a tad.

Instead of making a paste (with a mortar and pestle), start with at least a cup of mayonnaise. Mix desired ingredients into the mayonnaise, and coat the tuna steaks liberally (quarter inch coating). Marinate in the fridge for a few hours, and grill. The mayo will all melt away, and you'll be left with very tasty steaks.

on July 9, 2008 08:08 AM
# Darren said:

I see we have the same barbecue.

This is possibly my lamest comment of the month, but there it is.

on July 9, 2008 11:06 AM
# Craig Hughes said:

Gee thanks. Yesterday was a "Spare The Air" day. So is today, with a 147 air quality score for Santa Clara Valley where your grill is.

on July 9, 2008 11:42 AM
# Rob Walsh said:

Darren: Me too. (see below)

Craig: It's a gas grill -- Spare The Air seems to be asking people not to burn wood.

Jeremy: You seem to have found an alternative to using the tiny, hardware-store propane-torch cannisters that this is designed for, except that I can't see what in the picture... Any help for the rest of us? (Otherwise, I'm very happy with this grill.)


on July 10, 2008 05:42 AM
# Rob A. said:

Tuna looks fab!
Would that be a WeberQ grill that you use?

BTW, why in the world is WalMart trying to edge into your new employer's territory? WalMart does horrible at everything else!

on July 10, 2008 07:19 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


See "Using a 20 Pound Propane Tank with the Weber Baby Q Grill"

on July 10, 2008 07:32 AM
# Tanner said:

Try out my recipe for pan seared tuna! You will love it!
2 big handfuls fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, grated
1/4 Cup Pomelo Juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Sea salt and whole black pepper corns
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (16-ounce) block sushi-quality tuna
1 ripe avocado, halved, peeled, pitted, and sliced ...

on July 11, 2008 07:38 AM
# Andrew S said:

And to think, just a few decades ago, tuna (esp bluefin) was a chum fish, usually tossed overboard as it wasn't worth wasting the ship space on the tuna...

If you like the grilled tuna more on the rare side, try sticking it on a grate on top of a chimney starter half-full with hot coals. It gets a lot hotter than grills get.

on July 13, 2008 10:06 PM
# Ali said:

Sounds and looks delicious I need to try this :-)

on July 15, 2008 05:35 AM
# Manish said:

You should also try swordfish steaks... they are excellent on the grill. For marinade, try some teriyaki sauce and chill oil.

yum yum.

on July 16, 2008 03:08 PM
# Girl Japan said:

This looks absolutely delish!!! We cooked "sashimi" tuna steak the other day and it came out really great- the shiso leaves added enough zest...

but THESE look... so yummy!

on August 7, 2008 03:59 PM
# said:

try it medium rare next time. you don't need to buy sushi grade - look for frozen steaks (great options at whole foods) which are usually less than half the price. since all sushi-grade fish is frozen at some point (flash-freezing kills bacteria) buy it frozen and thaw it yourself. use the money you save on a lovely white burgundy.

on September 24, 2008 09:05 PM
# Jenny said:

This is the first grilled tuna steak I ever made.

Great recipe. Tasted great

on October 21, 2008 08:29 AM
# Faisal said:

We use bay leaves as spices in India, but always whole. Interesting to see you paste it. Does it add extra flavor that way?

on December 15, 2008 10:13 PM
# Grills said:

I only eat seafood, and I don't cook. So this is a great recipe for me to forward to my friends so they may make this for ME! Thanks.

on December 22, 2008 01:06 PM
# Francisco Mena said:

Dear Jeremy,

We just tried your grilled tuna recipe..and its fabulous!

Thank you very much...

Francisco Mena from San José, Costa Rica

on April 9, 2009 01:43 PM
# sherry said:

faisal, the recipe does not say to crush the bay leaves, but it also doesn't specify whole. We too only use them whole in cooking and for flavor only. We don't actually eat them. I do hope my husband likes this recipe, I was specifically looking for one with out soy sauce. (because I don't have any)

on November 6, 2009 04:02 PM
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