One of my absolute favorite fish varieties to cook and eat is yellowfin tuna. Unfortunately, it is one of the more expensive fish types on the market, so we only eat it when it is on super sale.
This week the grocery gods were smiling and we snagged two tuna steaks for a (relatively) low price. My favorite way to eat tuna? Blackened on the grill!
Blackening seasoning can be used any number of ways, but typically it is put in a thick layer on a piece of meat and then that meat is seared (in a boatload of oil usually) to make a spicy and flavorful crust.
We choose to cook our tuna steaks on the grill. To achieve the same crust as searing in a pan, simply spray the seasoned steak with cooking spray before placing on the grill grates. Is it the exact same? Of course not, but it’s equally delicious and flavorful!
Blackening seasoning is available premixed at the supermarket and is easy and convenient. But since you need to put the seasoning on so thick to make the crust, it is easy to plow through a $5 bottle of spice in two meals! Not good for the wallet. Luckily, blackening seasoning is made up almost entirely of things you probably already have on your spice rack.
Just store the seasoning in a shake-top bottle for easy coating the next time yellowfin tuna is on sale. Blackening seasoning is great to kick-up the flavor of chicken or shrimp and I have my mind set on making a blackened portabella burger in the future.
We topped our tuna steaks with a beautifully bright and flavorful mango-avocado salsa that is delicious on it’s own, but really shines when piled high on top of the spicy tuna.
Remember: When you’re cooking tuna, you want to only cook it until it’s warm in the middle, but still very rare. I know eating rare fish sounds scary, but tuna is a very lean fish that can turn incredibly dry when cooked through. If you are too nervous to eat rare fish, then make sure to include some sort of sauce (tartar sauce, mustard sauce, remoulade, etc.) with the tuna steaks to add moisture. Enjoy!
These Grilled Blackened Tuna Steaks with Mango Avocado Salsa are just the thing when you need a flavorful, fancy dinner that’s still quick and healthy.
For the Blackening Seasoning:
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Mango Avocado Salsa:
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced into rounds
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 ripe ataulfo (champagne) mango, cut into small chunks
- 1 ripe haas avocado, cut into small chunks
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Grilled Blackened Tuna Steaks:
- 2 yellowfin tuna steaks (6-8 ounces each)
- 2 tablespoons blackening seasoning
- Cooking spray
- To make the seasoning mix, whisk all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. The mix should keep well for at least three months.
- To make the mango avocado salsa, mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired.
- To make the grilled blackened tuna steaks, heat a grill over high heat (or a grill pan on the stove over medium-high).
- Coat the tuna steaks with the blackening seasoning on all sides, then spray the top and bottom with cooking spray.
- Add the steaks to the hot grill and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, or until black grill marks have formed but the inside is still rare. Serve hot topped with mango avocado salsa.
- Try using smoked paprika instead of regular paprika (or one tablespoon of each) in the blackening seasoning for a smokier, spicier flavor.
- Using one teaspoon of cayenne pepper in the seasoning will lead to a medium spice level for the finished dish, so feel free to adjust the amount to suit your preferences.
- I know eating rare fish sounds scary, but tuna is a very lean fish and can dry out quickly. Cooking the fish completely makes it dry and not as tasty.
- Ataulfo or champagne mangos (the small ones with yellow skin) are best here because they’re not as fibrous, but you can also use a red mango. If mangos are hard to find, the salsa is also delicious with pineapple, peaches, or strawberries. You will need about a cup of chopped fruit.
- Category: Entrees
Keywords: fish, seafood, mango, dinner