When I think of spring or summer arriving, images of alfresco lunches come to mind (granted it may be wishful thinking with British weather) and fish is top of my menu. Over the winter months I think we tend to consume more meat, and fish often gets forgotten about. For this recipe I wanted to combine the subtle, fresh flavours of fish with a zesty, colourful salsa to remind us all that sunshine is surely on its way soon! Tuna steak is a great option for this dish; with its firm meaty texture it works well with the sweetness of the mango.
A light and fresh dish that combines the meaty texture of tuna with a vibrant mango salsa. Perfect for a light lunch and super quick to prepare.
When it comes to cooking tuna I prefer to have mine slightly pink. This means that it is incredibly quick to cook as it just needs to be seared on either side. The trick to searing tuna is to make sure it is at room temperature before you start cooking. This way you will have some warmth throughout the tuna steak rather than it being cooked on the outside and ice-cold in the centre. Use a heavy bottomed frying pan for cooking; cast iron works well and make sure whatever pan you use is very hot before you add the tuna.
The time that it takes to cook will depend on how thick your tuna steak is; mine was only thin so it was cooked for no more than a minute on each side. For a chunkier steak you may want to cook for a couple of minutes on each side. If you want to have your tuna cooked all the way through then just cook for a couple of extra minutes; it does not take long to go from pink to completely cooked through.
For the salsa I have used a combination of mango, cucumber, coriander, chilli, and lime juice. You can also add some pepper or onion if you wish but I quite like to keep it simple. If you like spice then you can add in more chillies; it works really well with the soft, sweet mango so give it a go even if you are not too keen on spice. This dish makes the perfect light lunch and can be served with your favourite salad or some sweet potato fries to make it more substantial.
In the UK we don’t consume as much fish as we should do; aim for 2–3 times a week and try to get as wide a variety as you can. Rather than relying on what selection they have in the supermarket try to get to your local fishmongers as they are more likely to have a wider range and will be able to make some recommendations for you. My experience of supermarket “fishmongers” has not been great with one not even knowing what a clam was, so I always prefer to shop local for my fish.
When it comes to thinking about sustainability, tuna often falls into a category of concern. It has suffered from large amounts of commercial fishing over the years. In particular, populations of bluefin tuna have been severely depleted and should be avoided. The tuna that you find in the UK will most likely be yellowfin or skipjack. Ideally you should be looking for tuna which has been caught by using a ‘one-by-one’ method such as pole-and-line or hand-line fishing. These methods make it harder to over-fish and protect the tuna populations along with other species such as dolphins and whales that can get caught up in the nets that are commonly used for large-scale commercial fishing. Unfortunately, most tuna is not caught this way so make sure you pay close attention to packaging or question your fishmonger so that you know how your tuna has been caught.
- 2 tuna steaks
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 mango, chopped into small cubes
- ½ cucumber, chopped into small cubes
- ½ small bunch coriander, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped and deseeded
- ½ lime, juice only
- Place all of the salsa ingredients into a bowl and mix together; season to taste and set aside.
- Heat a frying pan or skillet on a medium to high heat and rub the tuna steaks with the olive oil.
- Once the pan is hot add the tuna and cook for a couple of minutes on each side to sear. This will vary depending on the thickness of your steak and how well done you like it.
- Remove the tuna from the pan, slice in half, season and serve with the mango salsa.