Pan seared tuna with a citrus vinaigrette

It has been a distressingly long time since we’ve really sat down and made ourselves a good honest meal. Work and other commitments are always getting in the way these days. David recently spotted some frozen ahi tuna at our local Trader Joe’s, so we thought it would be nice opportunity to try something new. I’d actually never had tuna steaks before, and I was eager to give it a try.


adapted from
Serves 2

2 6-oz ahi tuna steaks, sushi grade if possible
¼ cup olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes

1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp orange juice
½ tbsp lemon juice
¾ tsp lime juice
¾ tsp soy sauce
¾ tsp chopped thyme
½ tsp Dijon mustard
¾ tsp minced ginger
½ tbsp honey
1 tbsp pickled jalapeno, chopped
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
salt and pepper
spinach leaves
cherry tomatoes, halved, for garnish

For the tuna, stir together olive oil and pepper flakes. Toss tuna with marinade and let sit for 30 minutes.

For the dressing, pour vinegars, orange juice, lemon and lime juices, and soy sauce into a blender. Add shallot, thyme, honey, mustard, jalapeño and ginger. Blend on high until smooth, then gradually add in olive oil in a slow, steady stream with the blender running. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat until very hot. Remove steaks from marinade, wiping off any excess, before seasoning with salt and pepper. Sear in the pan until desired doneness, about 1 minute per side if you’d like it rare. Toss spinach leaves with dressing to lightly coat. Place seared tuna atop salad, garnish with tomatoes and drizzle with additional dressing.


It was a surprisingly delicious meal, particularly for being frozen tuna (likely not “sushi-grade”). I did not expect the tune to taste so nutty and earthy, but apparently that is the taste of tuna. The dressing was super delicious–light, fruity and complex. David noted that the pan could have been hotter such that the tuna seared even more than it was. Other than that, a fabulous first try for tuna!

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