Pan Seared Tuna Steaks

A Yellowfin Tuna loin recipe with an Asian twist

After a few attempts of trying to make sushi rice I eventually gave up chasing the ghost. There are certain things in life that one just has to give up on and my forte is not making sushi rice, putting that aside I needed the rice to make nigiri, which is basically a raw slither of loin placed on rice with wasabi used as a holding agent.

I needed to get enough rice to make a few pieces of nigiri luckily, I have a friend who owns a sushi shop, so a quick call through to my favorite sushi shop, Soo-shee and 15 minutes later a punnet of freshly steamed rice with extra ginger, wasabi and soya sauce was delivered to my house. It may be cheating by calling in the cavalry to assist with the rice, but there is nothing better than eating fresh nigiri and sashimi that was harvested a few hours earlier.

With the great run of yellowfin tuna off Cape Point in the last few weeks I have been gagging for a fresh loin, unfortunately I have not been able to get to the tuna grounds myself due to health reasons. But seeing my cell phone lighting up like a Christmas tree as it started ringing, I picked up the call, not even a hello or how are you, but the frantic words of my mate Delon asking, do you want tuna loins?, yellowfin tuna loins?, open your front door now.

Well needless to say Delon was standing there with a grin on his face holding a fresh piece of yellowfin harvested only hours ago, this fish was properly spiked and immediately put on ice. The reason people prefer to spike the tuna by inserting a thin metal spike to the brain area located on the top of the head between the eyes is because it’s a very humane and quick way to kill the tuna. Additionally, it also prevents the heart from beating faster than bleeding the fish out and this method keeps the quality of meat superior while it lies in an ice slurry.

I have had a craving for yellowfin tuna for quite some time now, and I wanted to sear the steaks by pan frying them. Looking into my pantry I quickly realized what I wanted to make – an Asian persuasion tuna dish.


  • Fresh yellowfin tuna loin
  • Soya sauce
  • Honey
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed is ideal but lemon in a bottle will do
  • Chilies
    Ina Paarman lemon pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Butter


  • The loins were cut into perfect steaks and washed off in salted water to get rid of the excess blood that was left over.
  • The loins were then put into the fridge to rest as well as to let the meat firm up to assist in the cooking process.
  • I then added the soya, honey, garlic and pepper into a mixing bowl added finely chopped chilly, lemon juice and folded all the ingredients into a wet mixture.
  • Make a wet baste out of ingredients and remember to baste the loins only once they have been turned around in the pan, this method can also be used for barbeque or a South African braai.
  • As I cook on a gas stove, I have noticed that cooking on an open flame is far quicker than an electric stove, taking my none stick pan I added a drizzle of olive oil and a teaspoon of unsalted butter, as soya contains salt.
  • I placed the tuna loin inside the pan once the pan started to sizzle with heat, leaving the loins to rest for about 4 minutes on each side, as I turned the loins over would I then only baste the meat heavily.
  • The four minutes on each side left my tuna perfectly seared with a hard crust on the outside and the perfect pinkness in the middle.
  • This recipe can be served with an easy to make green salad.

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Related Articles