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Seared Tuna with Roasted Avocado-Pepper and Wasabi Sauce



Searing tuna is not a difficult task. The marinade seasons the steak really well, but the biggest “secret” for achieving great flavor is purchasing super fresh tuna steaks. The real twist on this recipe comes from the sauce: grill the vegetables prior to making the sauce for a delicious smoky taste. Healthy and so good!

Serves 2

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, pale inner core only, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper, minced
  •  ¼ cup water
  • 2 tuna steaks, about 6 ounces each, 1 inch thick

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado, seeded
  • 1 red sweet pepper (or red bell pepper), seeded and cored, split in half
  • ¼ onion
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cup packed arugula, for serving
  • ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped, for serving


In a mixing bowl, add lemongrass, garlic, ginger, honey, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, chili pepper and water. Mix until blended.

Place tuna steaks in a large sealable plastic bag and carefully pour marinade over, turning steaks to coat. Remove as much air as possible from bag, seal and transfer to refrigerator. Marinate for at least 3 hours.

Preheat gas grill to medium high for 10 minutes. Grill avocado, sweet pepper, onion and Serrano pepper for 8 to 10 minutes, until grill marks are pronounced. Turn sweet pepper, onion and Serrano pepper once half way through (see picture below). Remove from grill and allow cooling for 10 minutes.


Peel avocado; remove any visible burnt skin from sweet pepper; split Serrano pepper in half and remove all seeds with the back of a knife. To a food processor add avocado, sweet pepper, onion, Serrano pepper, wasabi and lime juice. Pulse 4 to 5 times, until sauce is smooth. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Arrange arugula and cilantro on serving plates.

Remove tuna from refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. Coat grill rack with canola or vegetable oil. Preheat gas grill to medium high. Remove steaks from marinade. Sear tuna for 2 minutes on each side for rare. For medium rare, sear 3 minutes on each side. Remove from grill and slice.

Place sliced tuna over greens and top with sauce. Serve immediately with extra sauce on the side.

Cook’s Notes:

Buy sushi grade tuna, as fresh as possible. If it is over 2 days old, don’t buy it. Best flavor is extremely related to freshness.

If you don’t use all the sauce (I ended up with an extra ¼ cup) you can store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and use as a spread for sandwiches. You can also serve as a dip along side with tortilla chips.


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