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Bob Hart’s recipe for Tuna on the BBQ

Article image for Bob Hart’s recipe for Tuna on the BBQ


There are few better things to subject to a blast of barbecue heat than a gloriously fresh slab of yellow-fin tuna – something under the 250g mark which, even with the hefty price of this fish these days, should set you back no more than around $15 a pop.


And as the best way to eat this fish is quickly cooked and quite rare, think of the money you will save on fuel?


I like to cook a tuna steak of around this weight for no more than a minute or so, in total, on a very hot grill. Here’s what to do:


First oil and season your tuna with salt and black pepper or, if you are that way inclined, an even sprinkle of my Aztec Dust dry rub works well. (And decent BBQ shops seem to stock it these days, bless them!)


Then, fire up your grill to a serious heat – I like to cook it at 220C at least. Ensure your grill is clean and oiled. Then, place the oiled slab of tuna on the grill at 45 degrees to the grill bars (do I have to remind you never to cook anything worth eating on a hotplate? Nah, didn’t think so…)


Now, after just 15 seconds (a tick longer if you dislike very rare tuna, which I find hard to imagine) flip the fish and cook for another 15 seconds. Now, after another 15 seconds, flip the fish again, but this time, move it through 90 degrees. And again, after 15 more seconds flip it again. Remember to drop the lid immediately whenever you flip the fish.


And now, after 15 seconds in that final position, take the fish off the heat, place it on a (hot!) plate and loosely cover with foil for a couple of minutes to even out the cooking. If you decide to cook for 20 seconds in each position rather than 15, I won’t tell anybody, OK?


You need, of course, to have made a few decisions about what you are planning to serve it with by this stage. Here are a few options:


  • Very soft, buttery mash potato is great – made with desiree potatoes, buter, full-cream milk and livened up with a few squirts of wasabi (the tube version is fine) stirred through it.


  • Best Foods (or similar) bottled mayo with some wasabi stirred through it also works well.


  • Or, maybe best of all, a generous dollop of the aforementioned BF mayo with plenty of finely chopped anchovies stirred through it. Which is quite magnificent.
Peter 'Grubby' Stubbs