The outdoors is rapidly becoming my kitchen of choice on these hot days. No, I’m not going all primal by cooking big hunks of meat over a raging fire pit. C’mon…I’m a civilized lady (bet those are two words you never thought you’d see side by side describing me – although I guess you should consider the source). I’m cooking those hunks of protein over a large controlled fire called my grill. Actually it’s Craig’s grill and I only jump on it when he’s not home, because otherwise I would have to deal with listening to his rhetoric about how I’m not doing XYZ correctly etc. etc. So with him being out of town, I thought I would take the opportunity to make some grilled skewers of tuna that I’ve been thinking about for a couple of weeks now.
A grilled tuna recipe is definitely a recipe you need to keep in your repertoire of grilling. First of all, tuna cooks up really quickly on the grill. By the way…I’m talking about tuna steaks here, not packaged tuna. Secondly, grilled tuna takes on a completely different flavor from canned, raw or its pan seared brethren. A grilled tuna recipe can easily stand in for the heartiness of a beef steak if you are looking for something a little healthier to put on the plate other than a big slab of red meat, but still want something that’s going to satisfy that part of you that doesn’t necessarily want to feel like you’re “eating light.”
Earlier, I talked about grilled fruit and how it makes a nice addition to your dinner plate as either a side dish or dessert. But this time I’m adding the grilled fruit to the main course itself. Threading cubes of pineapple between the chunks of tuna not only gives you nice and caramelized pineapple pieces, but the pineapple helps to give even more flavor to the grilled skewers overall flavor.
I mixed up a light, but flavorful marinade to toss the cubes of tuna in so that they could pick up even more tropical flavors. You may notice that there’s not citrus in the tuna marinade. The reason for that is because citrus “cooks” seafood proteins if they are left in there too long. That’s fine if you’re making a ceviche recipe, but not so much if your goal is to cook the tuna on a grill.
As soon as these grilled skewers came off the grill, and had cooled down to the point where I wouldn’t lose the top layer of skin in my mouth, I devoured at least three of them. Yeah, that side of coconut rice I made to go with them never got touched that night. I ended up with about 9 official skewers (I had a few misshaped pieces of tuna and pineapple that just weren’t skewer ready…but still grillable and VERY edible). So that meant leftovers for the next day and I actually shared with Craig. After he settled down about me obviously using his grill (and seeing that I put it back EXACTLY the way I found it) he tore into these like a rabid dog. This time I actually served the rice with them. So this grilled tuna recipe tastes great as leftovers too.
No one said life was fair.
Recipe: Tropical Tuna Grilled Skewers
Summary: Makes 6 – 12 Skewers (depending on size of tuna cubes)
For the Grilled Skewers
- 1 1/4 Pounds Ahi Tuna (cubed into 1 inch pieces)
- 1 Fresh Pineapple (cubed into 1 inch pieces)
- 6 – 12 skewers (depending on length) If using wood skewers, soak in water for at least 2 hours.
For the Tuna Marinade
- 2 Small Cucumbers (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 1 Handful of Cilantro (woody stems removed)
- 1 1 inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Mirin
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- Place the cubed tuna in a wide, shallow bowl.
- Place the cubed pineapple in the refrigerator to stay chilled.
For the Tuna Marinade
- Toss all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and buzz until everything is pureed.
- Pour the marinade over the cubed tuna and give it a gentle stir to make sure all of the pieces are coated.
- Place into the refrigerator and let sit for 30 – 60 minutes.
For the Grilled Skewers
- Heat up the grill to 500 degrees Farenheit.
- While the grill is heating take the pineapple and tuna out of the refrigerator.
- Begin to thread the tuna and pineapple on to the skewers alternating between tuna and pineapple. Make sure to leave a slight space between pieces so that the edges get nice and grilled too.
- Once all the skewers are threaded, lay them out on the grill, evenly spaced. Let them cook about 2 minutes per side then flip and cook the other side for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Serve with fresh fruit and onion salsa and a side of rice.
Mirin can be found in most major grocery stores in the Asian food aisle.
You won’t need all of the pineapple for the skewers, but if you grill it all up you can use it to make a great grilled pineapple salsa to serve with the skewers.
Preparation time: 45 minute(s)
Cooking time: 6 minute(s)
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 2
Culinary tradition: USA (General)