Spice-Crusted Tuna Steaks with Cilantro and Basil

Bobbi Brown adores this dish from Jamie Oliver's cookbook The Naked Chef, because it's delicious and because tuna is naturally low in cholesterol and saturated fat and high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. When buying fresh tuna, look for steaks that are dark red and evenly colored, and have a tight grain without sinews. According to Oliver, good quality fresh tuna should be served rare or very pink, but you can cook it longer if you prefer. Amazing Seafood Recipes

Spice-Crusted Tuna Steaks with Cilantro and Basil
Photo: © Lucy Schaeffer
Total Time:
15 mins


  • 1 small dried red chile, stemmed

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 1 small garlic clove

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped basil leaves

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Vegetable oil, for brushing

  • Four 8-ounce tuna steaks about 1/2-inch thick


  1. In a mortar, coarsely grind the chile with the coriander seeds. Add the garlic and mash to a paste. Stir in the basil, cilantro and lemon juice. Season the herb paste with salt and pepper.

  2. Lightly brush a grill pan with vegetable oil and set it over moderately high heat until very hot but not smoking. Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper and rub the herb paste all over both sides. Sear the tuna steaks for 1 minute per side for rare or until cooked to desired doneness. Serve at once.


One Serving 291 cal, 6 gm fat, 1.1gm saturated fat, 3 gm carb, 2 gm fiber.

Serve With

A mixed green salad or boiled potatoes and large lemon wedges.

Suggested Pairing

A big, fleshy California Chardonnay can wrap together the many potent flavors in this meaty fish dish.

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