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Kalyn's Kitchen

Grilled Spicy Tuna

I still had a few recipes hanging around in my recipe archives that didn’t have a photo, from the days before I entered the digital camera age. Now that I have my new camera there’s an entire new set of photos from the time before I entered the improved-photos-SLR-Digital-Camera age, but I guess those will have to wait until I get all the photo-less recipes taken care of!

This recipe for Grilled Spicy Tuna was something I created in memory of Spicy Tuna Rolls, which have long been one of my favorite sushi dishes. Now that I’m officially on phase three of The South Beach Diet, sushi is something I’ll eat once in a while, and it’s my very favorite food. But if you’re still trying to lose weight, this grilled tuna is a better choice. I ate this last night, after working all day around home on various blogging projects, and it tasted great with a salad with Cardini’s Caesar, one of my favorite salad dressings. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, grilling season won’t last too much longer, so give this a try if you like tuna.

I used frozen Ahi tuna steaks from Costco, a great source for frozen fish if you aren’t lucky enough to live where fresh fish is easy to obtain. If you can’t find tuna, I think this would taste great on mahi mahi, swordfish, or halibut.

Grilled Spicy Tuna
(Recipe created by Kalyn. This made enough marinade for 2-4 pieces of tuna)

thick cut pieces of tuna, one per person

Marinade ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. fish rub or seafood seasoning
(I used Pride of Szeged Fish Rub. Trader Joe’s also makes a good seafood seasoning. See note below if you don’t have seafood seasoning in your spice collection.)
1 tsp. hot pepper flakes (like the kind you sprinkle on pizza, or use your favorite hot sauce)


Combine marinade ingredients. Put tuna in zip loc bag and pour marinade over. Marinate in refrigerator 1-3 hours. (As a general rule, don’t marinate fish too long or the acidy ingredient in the marinade starts to “cook” the fish.)

To cook, oil your grill with a piece of paper towel dipped in olive oil, then preheat charcoal or gas grill to high. (You can only hold your hand there about 2 seconds when the grill is high.) Drain marinade and grill fish 4-6 minutes on each side. (Use this as a guide: 4 minutes per side for medium rare, 5 minutes per side for medium, six minutes per side for well done.) If you want those lovely grill marks, be sure grill is very hot, lay tuna diagonally on the grill, wait three minutes, rotate, wait three minutes and cook less time on the other side.

Note: For those who don’t have seafood seasoning, the Pride of Szeged Fish Rub contains paprika, pepper, salt, lemon juice, and spices. Trader Joe’s Seafood Grill and Broil has brown mustard seeds, lemon peel, black pepper, onion, lemon, thyme, chile pepper, celery seeds, bay leaves, basil, fennel, oregano, and red pepper. Choose the ingredients you like and make your own spice rub for fish.

(Thanks to Rick Rodgers, who I met when I attended the Kingsford Barbecue class for the tip about oiling the grill with a paper towel dipped in olive oil before cooking fish. Watch for his book, Kingsford Complete Grilling Cookbook, coming out in early 2007.)

South Beach Suggestions:
This is a perfect dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one, serve with Mary’s Perfect Salad or or any green salad with a South Beach Friendly dressing. For phase two or three you could add 100% whole wheat bread, Lake Powell Spicy Rice, or Curried Rice and Red Lentils.

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10 comments on “Grilled Spicy Tuna”

  1. I obviously got seriously distracted, since I didn’t respond to any of these later comments. Thanks everyone. Anonymous, brilliant idea to use Old Bay seasoning in this, and thanks for letting me know you liked it.

  2. Always had trouble grilling tuna, but this recipe worked very well. Great taste. Used Old Bay seasoning since I didn’t have the fish seasoning recommended. Served the tuna as part of salad nicoise without potatoes.

  3. This sounds great! I love grilled tuna but unless we have more warm weather I’ll have to make it indoors.

  4. Hey,

    Oh cool !! You made it to the Kingsford gig. I was asked, but turned it down. I’ve been slamming Kingsford for years and it didn’t seem right. Plus am too busy and wasn’t able to take the family. I’m glad you made it!


  5. Kalyn, Congrats on your South Beach success! I’ve been on the beach since the end of July and I LOVE it! Just discovered your blog this evening and I’ve added it to the blogroll on my group weight-loss blog. Thanks for all the effort you’ve put into this!

  6. I think I need to get on this diet…I enjoy fish so much. Too much pasta in IT…….will try this. Happy Cooking

  7. Sounds great, Kalyn. Thanks for the recommendation of what to put into the spice rub.

  8. Ilva, I will cook it for you any time if you come and visit!

    Neil, thanks. I’m very into grill marks!! (And tuna too.) I noticed how it looked like beef in the photo.

  9. Looks like something for meat eaters with the way it looks like a nice juicy beef steak! You got the grill marks just right.

  10. Kalyn, it both looks and sounds absolutely wonderful! Next time I see some fresh tuna I’ll make this and I’ll eat it thinking about you!

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