grilled tuna, sumac

Tuna is the fish that lends itself easiest to grilling because it texturally behaves like beef. Here’s a quick paste rub/seared tuna that’s easy enough to do, and besides, I wanted to post something about grilling because SPRING IS COMING!

Fish selection

Everyone has opinion about fish selection. Clearly the fresher the better, but when you’re landlocked, you options may be limited. Tuna is one of those high-pressure fishes whose supply is limited, so we really don’t do it that often. Beware the tuna that is neon pink. It’s treated with carbon monoxide (saturates the myoglobin and changes the color) to make it look better than it actually is. The ideal is to find tuna that is reddish brown with a little hint of oil on the flesh. It looks kinda like a street right after a light rain shower with mixture of water and oil, creating a prism effect.

Preparation

Ground cumin seed
Sumac
Black pepper
Salt
Neutral oil
Hot grill

Make a paste with those ingredients, coat the fish, and sear. Watch it because it goes quickly, and you can tell the doneness of your fish by watching the color change. I like about 1/3 to 1/2 of it to be pretty pink, so gauge when you flip the meat based on this.

From Recently Updated

I know it looks really neon, it was a camera setting that altered saturation making it look pinker than it actually was.

From Recently Updated

Sumac

Here’s the wikipedia link. It’s a Middle Eastern spice that I learned about from eating Lebanese food. It has sweet/citrus flavors, and goes great with meat or fish. Find it at the international market and experiment with it!

Notes

A lot of fish cookery is last minute, depending on how you do it. As fun as it is to sautee’ stuff, restraint is key. I have to force myself to wait until the last minute to cook it, because I’m always tempted to throw it on the skillet right away.
If you eat sushi from the grocery store, you probably have the stomach for tuna sashimi. As long as you have developed good flavor with searing, you should be able to eat tuna pretty much raw, and this will depend on the quality that you’re able to find. The biggest mistakes to make here are overcooking and underseasoning.

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