Jamie Oliver's Seared Tuna Steak with Fresh Coriander and Basil

Jamie Oliver's easy recipe for seared tuna steaks is a quick and reliable midweek dinner. Brightened up with the fresh, light flavours of lemon, basil and coriander, this flavourful dish is one to go back to again and again.

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Tuna is widely available in supermarkets and fishmongers these days. There are many types, and the most available and reasonably priced is yellow-fin tuna, which can be pretty good. You should always try to buy 'sustainably caught' tuna. When buying tuna you should look for meat that is evenly coloured, dark red and has a fine, tight grain free of large sinews. Generally you get better tuna in good fishmongers than in supermarkets, but sometimes the supermarkets get a good batch in, so keep your eyes peeled. There is a bit of a thing about it being fashionable to serve tuna pink; if you buy good-quality fresh tuna the last thing you want to do is cook it all the way through and make it taste like tinned tuna, so yes, good-quality fresh tuna should be served rare or very pink.

Serves 4


1 small dried red chilli
1 tbsp coriander seeds
½ clove garlic
1 good handful basil, picked and finely chopped
1 good handful fresh coriander, picked and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tuna steaks, 225–285g/8–10oz each, about 2cm/¾ inch thick

Essential kit

You will need: a pestle and mortar.


Smash up the chilli and the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar. Add the garlic, basil, coriander and lemon juice to taste. Mix together, and season.

Lay out your tuna steaks on a tray, season both sides and rub the herb mixture on to each side.

There are two nice ways to cook it: I prefer to cook it on one of those ridged grill pans or in a frying-pan. Rub your pan, which should be very, very hot, with a little bit of oil on a piece of kitchen paper, then put in the tuna.

What you want to do is sear the tuna so that it toasts, fries and browns (about 45–60 seconds on each side). Once cooked, I like to rip the steaks in half and serve with salad and chips or boiled potatoes and a big wedge of lemon. It’s quite sexy sometimes with some marinated sun-dried tomatoes, olives, basil . . . the possibilities are endless.

CALS 243 kcal FAT 1.8g SAT FAT 0.5g PROTEIN 57.1G CARBS 0.4g SUGAR 0.2g SALT 0.9g FIBRE 0.6g

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