As with any fish you want to braai, the most important thing is to make sure the tuna is fresh. The only way to do that is to buy it from a trusted, reputable fishmonger who can tell you exactly where he or she got the tuna from, and when it was caught. If you’re unsure about the freshness of the tuna, don’t buy it. Needless to say, the other sure-fire way to get fresh tuna is to catch it yourself.
WHAT YOU NEED (serves 4)
- 4 tuna steaks of about 200 g each (very fresh or ‘sashimi grade’)
- 1 tot vegetable oil
- salt and black pepper about
- ½ cup sesame seeds (bonus points for a mixture of black and white if you can find it)
- ½ cup good-quality soy sauce
- 1 tot ginger (grated or crushed)
- 1 spring onion (finely sliced)
- ½ tot sugar
- ½ tot white vinegar
WHAT TO DO:
- Lie the tuna steaks in a dish, then brush them lightly with oil, and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Leave them in a cool place but out of the fridge for 10 minutes so they reach room temperature. Don’t leave them too long before cooking, as fish can go off quickly.
- Put the sesame seeds in another dish or on a plate and then dip the steaks on all sides into the sesame seeds to coat them evenly.
- Carefully (so that the sesame seeds don’t fall off) put the tuna steaks in a clean hinged grid, then braai them over very hot coals for about 1 minute each on both sides. If you’re wondering whether your coals are hot enough, then they aren’t! Take the steaks off the fire and put them on a wooden board to cool for 5–10 minutes before you slice them.
- While the tuna is resting, mix the soy sauce, ginger, spring onion, sugar and vinegar together in a bowl or jug, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Use a very sharp knife and cut the tuna steaks into slices. If you don’t have a very sharp knife, buy a new knife, use a knife sharpener, or both. As you will notice from the photo, the fish is still raw in the middle. This is supposed to be the case with seared tuna. After all, that same piece of fish could be served as completely raw sashimi in a restaurant.
- Drizzle the sauce over the fish, or serve the sauce in small dipping bowls on each plate.
Only braai sustainably sourced fish – so stay away from anything on the SASSI red list.