“Tuna on Tuna” or Fresh Tuna with Tuna-Pickle Sauce

Jul 10, 2009 by

Stock tuna I only recently really discovered fresh tuna. I might have eaten it a time or two before, but recently I found such a recipe and such tuna!  It’s one of the most delicious things I’ve made lately.

Quite a different animal from canned tuna, good fresh tuna is worth the expense once in awhile.

While our gourmet grocery store, Central Market, sells sushi- or sashimi-grade tuna for $16 a pound, it’s only $8.99 at HEB, the average-Joe grocery owned by the same company. So it seems like a bargain, though I think that’s still pretty steep. The four of us can put away $14 worth of fish with no leftovers. Yet, it’s a real steal compared to a restaurant meal of similar quality. As you can tell, I’m trying to justify eating it more often.

This fish, which comes frozen in individual plastic vacuum packs, claims to be extremely fresh, worthy of eating raw, the highest quality. I believe it.

This savory recipe, which my son calls “Tuna on Tuna,” is sublime. It’s very satisfying to the taste and tummy.  Adapted from a Food & Wine recipe, it’s also super simple and healthy.

Serves four.

3 oz canned tuna (preferably without salt or packed in olive or canola oil)

¼ C mayonnaise

2 t drained capers (pickled flower buds of a Mediterranean shrub)

1 anchovy fillet

2 mini dill pickles, chopped up

½ t Dijon mustard

½ t white wine vinegar

¼ C olive oil

Four fresh sashimi- or sushi-grade tuna, one inch thick


¼ C matzo meal or bread or cracker crumbs

1 t chopped fresh or dry thyme

1 t chopped flat leaf parsley

1.       Put in a blender or food processor the canned tuna with mayonnaise, capers, anchovy, pickles, mustard and vinegar and puree. If it’s too thick and dry, you can add a little water or broth.

Step 2 could be skipped. It’s great just plain:

2.       Mix the matzo meal or bread crumbs, thyme and parsley and 1T of the oil. Rub the tuna steaks with another 1 T oil and roll them in the bread crumbs.

3.       Heat 2 T oil in a nonstick skillet, and cook the tuna steaks over fairly high heat, turning once, until the steaks are golden outside but still a bit (or more so, according to taste) rare on the inside, about five minutes. This tuna can be eaten raw, so try it on the rare side.

4.       Serve the steaks with the sauce.


© Sacred Appetite / Anna Migeon  / 9 July 2009 / All rights reserved