Many people have a bee in their bonnet about serving tuna — the catch-cry ‘sustainable fish’ always comes up. Well, just make sure your tuna is local line-caught fish!






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  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 x 150 g tuna loin steaks (also look for bincho or albacore tuna)
  • grilled vegetable salad, to serve

Spice crust

  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Prepare your barbecue for direct grilling over a high heat.

To make the spice crust, roughly pound the coriander, cumin and sesame seeds in a mortar with the ras el hanout. Spread the spices on a chopping board or tray and season with salt and pepper.

In the same mortar, smash the garlic clove with a little salt, then add the tahini. Mix with the pestle, then add a little water to thin the mixture to the consistency of thick pouring cream. Add the olive oil and the juice of one lemon and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Rub the tuna steaks with the remaining lemon juice. Push the tuna into the spice mixture so the steaks are well coated on both sides. Place the tuna steaks directly on the barbecue and cook on both sides until the tuna is medium-rare. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the tuna – the best way is to watch the colour change from red to white on the edge of the fish while cooking. When the colour change reaches the middle of the fish edge, turn and repeat the process.

Remove the tuna from the grill. Break it up roughly and arrange on a platter with the salad. Drizzle with the tahini dressing and serve straight away.


Recipe and image from Ben’s BBQ Bible, Ben O’Donoghue (Hardie Grant Books, $39.95, pbk).