Spice-Rubbed Tuna Steaks with Balsamic Reduction

Jason and I hit the jackpot yesterday when we were buying our tuna steaks.  Our grocery store had a beautiful selection and they were larger than usual.  What I love most about them is that while they are wild-caught they come frozen so they make for great protein to just have on hand.  They would be suitable for a quick lunch because fish thaws out so quickly…really nice to have a few of these in your freezer.  Another plus to tuna steak is that it cooks quickly as well!  Only a 2 minute sear on each side is necessary.  Tuna steaks are best eaten very rare.  They take on a completely different taste that way.  When they are rare they have a very soft, buttery, melt in your mouth texture.  When you cook them all the way through they become dry and actually taste more “fishy.”


Ingredients for Spice Rub

This spice rub will be enough for two large tuna steaks.

    • 1 tbsp. sea salt
    • 1 tsp. coriander
    • 1 tsp. paprika
    • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
    • 2 tsp. black pepper


Searing the Steaks

Mix all spices together and then press your spice rub on to your tuna — do both sides and try to get the edges as well if you have enough.

**Note – the spice rub will stick better if you pat your steaks dry when you take them out of the package.  A wet surface will make for a moist rub.

Add a tablespoon of fat to a skillet over medium-high heat.  I used coconut oil because it works well for high heat.  Olive oil wouldn’t be the best to use here…it’s better at low heat sauteing and eaten without being heated.  Once oil is nice and hot add tuna steaks and sear on each side for about 2 minutes.  If you’re steaks are fairly thin you can even do 1 minute only.  You will see on the side that it is browned on the surface but has a red center still.  That is perfectly fine, and what you want!


Ingredients for Balsamic Reduction

  • 6 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced


All all ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat.  It will take some time, but you want to reduce the liquid by half — stir frequently.  It will thicken some as it cools as well.

I served my tuna steaks cut in strips over a bed of sautéed cabbage.  Sautéed cabbage is a staple in our home.  I make it a lot – often in the place of noodles.  When you cook the cabbage down enough it becomes very soft and just begs to be topped with something!


Sautéed Cabbage, optional


For the sautéed cabbage simply heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat.  I typically use coconut oil — in this case I used bacon fat which gives the cabbage a great smokey flavor.  Not to mention Jason and I have a crap ton of bacon fat because we’ve been gorging on bacon in place of cheesecake since our challenge started!  Haha!  Anyway, heat your oil and add your thinly sliced cabbage to it.  You can simply season with salt and pepper or get creative with it.  For a variation I often will cook some red onion down first, and then add the cabbage to it.  The cabbage takes about 10 minutes to cook down fully.

Place sliced tuna steak on cabbage then drizzle with your balsamic reduction.  Enjoy as always!

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8 Responses to “Spice-Rubbed Tuna Steaks with Balsamic Reduction”

  1. Rocio Gosewehr says:

    I made this for dinner tonight – it was my first time cooking tuna steaks. Yum!

  2. Sofia says:

    The balsamic reduction was amazing!! I had looked at other recipes which called for chicken stock or white wine. But yours with lemon juice sounded intriguing. And tasted amazing- delish!! I’ll be using the balsamic reduction on chicken and pork too 🙂

  3. Katie T says:

    I really enjoyed the combo of the rub and the reduction sauce. My only suggestion would be a little less salt in the rub. Thank you for the recipe!

    • jennifer says:

      Katie, thank you for your comment! Glad you tried the recipe out and approved of the rub combination. Next time a bit less salt should do the trick for ya!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I must agree with the salt comment. Are you sure it’s not supposed to be 1 teaspoon instead of 1 tablespoon of salt? Overall, it was a great flavor, but I would definitely cut back on the salt.

    • jennifer says:

      Elizabeth, I’m so sorry it turned out too salty for you! Yuck! haha I guess I do like salt — I typically use the tbsp of salt w/o fail. I’ve had others make it that way successfully as well. Hmmm… well, I’m glad you enjoyed it despite the seasoning. Take care and thank you for the feedback 🙂

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