Searing spice crusted tuna steaks

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by markv, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. markv

    markv

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    OK everybody, here's one.

    A while ago I made a tuna steak. I sprinkled it with some lemon and then applied a rub composed of cracked black, white, green, and pink peppercorns, parika and garlic salt.

    I took my All Clad saute pan, heated it first, added oil, and waited a few seconds for it to just start smoking. I laid the tuna steak in the pan and began to sear it. When it came time to flip, the rub stuck to the pan.

    I was somewhat surprised because I used a quality pan and placed it in hot oil. It's the only thing that has ever stuck to my All Clad.

    I have received two opinions from two chefs I know why this happened. One said it was the material, i.e., stainless steel, and that I should have used cast iron. I don't see the logic there.

    The other one said it was because the tuna steak was damp, probably from sprinkling it first with lemon juice. That one escapes my food science knowledge as well.

    I suspect it was the crust which was mostly peppercorns, (and also paprika), either of which can burn. However, I've done steaks with peppercorn and paprika crusts with no problem.

    Your thoughts guys?

    Mark
     
  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    You may not have left it on long enough. Even things like scallops will release if you let it brown properly on one side first. Same principle with grilling. Don't try to turn anything before it's time.

    Kuan
     
  3. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Another possibility, besides what Kuan says, is in fact the lemon juice. What I think happened is the water in it turned to steam and separated the coating from the fish. When I've done stuff like this, I either use NOTHING between the fish and the rub, or a very light coating of oil, or even :eek: mayonnaise.

    But as Kuan said, it could also be that you flipped it too soon. I adhere to the Beatles' school of grilling and sauteeing: LET IT BE. :D
     
  4. cape chef

    cape chef

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    As said by Kuan and Suzanne the lemon juice will pull moisture as well as slightly lump the rub.Your All Clad pan has pores that need to be plugged by seasoning your pan if you don't use a non stick pan.a medium heat to start will give your tuna and rub a time to crust before turning. I find many play to much with there food while searing etc.
     
  5. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I couldn't agree more with that last statement CC!!! I yell at my cooks every day to stop playing with their food so much as it is sauteing. I had one cook who thinks (contrary to my opinion and protests) that the sign of a good cook is how often and how high he can flip food in a saute pan!!!
     
  6. markv

    markv

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    I guess I will save the lemon to drizzle on the tuna after cooking.

    As far as when to flip, I wanted it rare/medium-rae in the center and I flipped it at the right time to achieve that.

    The steak I was cooking was a little on the thin side. Thus, next time I will use a thicker cut so I can sear the outside longer and still get a rare center.

    Thanks for your input guys.

    Mark
     
  7. georgeair

    georgeair

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    It's been forever since I've been able to read the boards, let alone add anything..... so here goes.

    As another alternative, try a light coating of Dijon mustard between the spice and the tuna. I've had great luck with this and the flavor combo is terrific!
     
  8. chef from va

    chef from va

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    i personaly love to have a citrus flavor on my tuna too. i have encountered simmilar problems thought. my solution as stated by anouther member in their reply is to not use the lemon juice in the recipe.... so how do you get the citrus flavor? i use a spice called "grains of paradise". this spice has a peppery flavor and a citrus and even a slight floral taste and it is extremely aromatic .it was kinda hard for me to find and the only company i know of that provides them is VANNS spice co. they are sort of pricey to but a little goes a long way. i hope that this helps. :D
     
  9. georgeair

    georgeair

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    How about finely grated lemon/lime zest mixed in with the spice? Haven't tried it yet, but it may just work!
     
  10. chef from va

    chef from va

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    i have tried that and it usualy burns before the tuna is the way i like it. but i pitsburg it so my pan is like smokin' hot. i still prefer grains of paradise to everything else. you sould try and find it. if i found it in my culinary-blackhole of a town you should be able to find it anywhere. you can try the lemon zest, with a somewhat cooler pan than what i use it may work :) . good luck