Coated tuna steaks
  |  First Published: September 2014

This month’s processing sequence is for tuna steaks intended to be cooked in the frying pan.

There is some debate over whether or not to allow the steaks to make direct contact with the iced water slurry – all will be revealed, read on.


These tuna back fillets have been stored in sealed plastics bags for two days in an esky filled with an iced slurry. The plastic satchels were fully immersed. If you are making sashimi or sushi, ensure that the flesh does not make contact with the water. It is not that critical if your steaks are intended for the frypan.


Cut the tuna into thick steaks.


These steaks have been cut with the skin on.


Cut the skin away from the steak.


Cut away the blood line from the clear fleshed steak.


At this stage the steaks are ready for the pan, but there is an optional extra step. By putting the steaks in iced water in the fridge overnight, gives the tuna a ‘veal-like’ consistency.

Nutty Asian Coating

I have used pistachios in this coating, however you could substitute macadamia nuts or unsalted cashews. The important thing is that the nuts are unsalted because there is also soy sauce (which is salty) in the coating.

The quantities shown for the Nutty Asian Coating is for four tuna steaks (both sides).


1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios

2 -3 green shallots, root end removed

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2-3 teaspoons soy sauce

vegetable oil, for frying


Before applying the coating, gently pat the surfaces of the tuna steaks dry with either a clean tea towel or a clean chux wipe. In this scenario I prefer not to use paper towel because it can leave a little ‘fluff’ on the surface of the tuna.

In a food processor, process the pistachios and green shallots until ground to a crumbly consistency. I find that the best way to get a great texture for your coating, is to pulse the food processor until the right consistency is reached. Put the pistachio crumb mixture into a bowl and add the sesame oil. Stir well and then add the soy sauce, a little at a time, until the coating has formed a paste like consistency.

It looks like a dukkah, and can be used as such.

• Mt Stirling Olives www.mtstirlingolives.com.au of Queensland’s Stanthorpe wine region offer a great range of dukkahs\coatings in their store and on their website. For a flavor variation give Mt Stirling’s Chilli Dukkah a try.


Press a generous amount of the coating onto the dry surfaces of the tuna steaks.

A handy hint is to line a plate with plastic wrap and place the tuna steak, coated side down on the plastic wrap, while you coat the upper side of the fish. Chill the coated steaks for about an hour to firm up the coating and help it adhere to the steak.


Heat some vegetable oil in a heavy based frypan over a medium heat. Don’t make the oil too hot or the pistachios in the coating could burn. When the oil is hot, carefully lay the tuna steaks in the pan and cook until golden. Then carefully turn the tuna steaks over and cook on the other side until golden.


Serve with a little of the crust, either toasted from the pan, or straight from the leftovers in the bowl.

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