Afraid of grilling fish? Then start with tuna. A tuna steak can be cooked a lot like a beef steak and the finished result is so much better than that stuff that comes from a can. We’ve made these sandwiches (in slider form) for parties for years and they’re always a hit.

The MEAT: We live in the Midwest and even we have access to what is called “sushi-grade” tuna. Essentially, that means it’s worthy of serving raw. Sushi-grade is our go-to because we know it’s fresh and high quality. The meat will look somewhat red to pink and should never smell fishy. We prefer yellowfin (in Hawaiian it’s called “Ahi”) to all others (and that’s what we cooked here), but just ask your butcher or fishmonger for whatever’s freshest. When tuna is cooked it peels apart in delicious, meaty strips perfect for sandwich-making.

The METHOD: Sear the tuna steak like you would a ribeye or a strip. Cook directly over the heat and do it quickly. While grilling the tuna, grill at least one lime cut in half along with whole jalapeños. Give the peppers and the limes a good char and they’ll add a depth of flavor to the finished product.

The MEAL: When the tuna is cooked you can use a fork to pull apart the meat. Add big hunks of the meat to burger or slider buns, slather the top bun with the aioli, then top with red onion, tomato and cilantro and serve immediately.

tuna

Seared Tuna Sandwiches
For the tuna:
3 tuna steaks, about 10 oz. each
½ cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
Kosher salt
Freshly-ground black pepper

For the aioli:
1 cup mayo
Juice of 1 grilled lime
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 grilled jalapeños, chopped
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
Kosher salt
Freshly-ground black pepper

For serving:
Buns
Sliced tomato
Sliced red onion
Cilantro

grilling

Combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper and pour it over the tuna. Refrigerate while you prepare your grill for direct grilling.

Sear the tuna over the fire, flipping once, cooking for 3-4 minutes per side. Also grill the lemons and jalapeños, for the same amount of time.

While the tuna cools, make the aioli. Add the mayo to a bowl with juice of the grilled lime, the garlic, the grilled jalapeños (chopped), and the cilantro, then salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble the sandwiches and serve!

grilled-tuna