Tuna Grilled with Chinese Oyster-Ginger Sauce

Tuna Grilled with Chinese Oyster-Ginger Sauce

This recipe was excerpted from Great Fish Quick by Leslie Revsin

4 servings
Prep time 25-30 minutes plus optional 30-60 minutes' marinating time

If you have time to marinate the tuna steaks in the sauce, all the better. But if not, the sauce is so flavorful from the Chinese oyster extracts, fresh ginger, and sesame oil, that you can just coat the steaks with it before grilling and spoon more on top when they're done. Substitute swordfish or shark steaks, or salmon, mahimahi, or bass fillets. Try it with grilled shrimp as an hors d'oeuvre, or drizzle it over soft-shell crabs as a first course.

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons bottled Chinese oyster sauce (supermarket Oriental shelf)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • Four 7-ounce tuna steaks, each 3/4"-1" thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste

Start a medium-hot fire in the grill (see Note below). Fifteen minutes before you're going to grill the tuna steaks, put the grill grate 4" or 5" above the glowing coals if it isn't already there. (I also like to brush the top of the grate with vegetable oil just before grilling to help prevent sticking.)

Place the oyster sauce in a small mixing bowl along with the minced onion and chopped ginger. Whisk in the rice wine vinegar, then gradually whisk in the sesame oil and set the sauce aside briefly, or cover and refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks.

Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Place them in a shallow dish and pour 1/4 cup of the oyster-ginger marinade over them. Coat them all over with the marinade, and, if you have time, let them marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, covered with plastic wrap. (Refrigerate them if the kitchen is hot.) Otherwise, grill them right away.

Remove the steaks and reserve the remaining marinade. Place the steaks over the hot coals and grill the first side for 2 or 3 minutes, until browned. Turn the steaks and grill the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. The steaks will be pink inside. Cook them for a few minutes longer on each side if you want them well done. To check, make a small slit with a paring knife in the middle of one steak to check for redness.

To serve: Place the tuna steaks on warm dinner plates, spoon the rest of the oyster-ginger sauce over them, and serve right away.

Note: A large bed of extremely hot coals will crust the tuna if it's a thick steak. While the crust is delicious, the intense heat also dries out the first 1/2" of meat on both sides. So I sacrifice a little crust by grilling it over fewer coals to keep them moist. It's your choice.

Excerpted from GREAT FISH, QUICK by Leslie Revsin Copyright© 1997 by Leslie Revsin. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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