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How to Cook Tuna on a Stove

by
author image Katie Jensen
Katie Jensen's first book was published in 2000. Since then she has written additional books as well as screenplays, website content and e-books. Rosehill holds a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University. Her articles specialize in business and personal finance. Her passion includes cooking, eating and writing about food.
How to Cook Tuna on a Stove
How to Cook Tuna on a Stove Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Grilled tuna steaks are a summertime supper favorite; however, grilling is only one way of cooking this versatile fish. You can also poach or pan-sear your tuna on the stove. Leftovers -- if you have any -- make a gourmet tuna fish salad when combined with low-fat mayonnaise or a simple lemon and oil dressing. Chefs often cook the tuna so the center is still rosy red rather than opaque and flaky. FoodSafety.gov, the federal government’s gateway to food safety information, recommends that the internal temperature of tuna -- and other fish -- reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Perfectly Poached

Step 1

How to Cook Tuna on a Stove
Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Bring the tuna to room temperature by removing it from the refrigerator about 30 to 60 minutes before cooking. Doing so prevents the cold fish from lowering the temperature of the cooking liquid as much. Rinse and pat dry. Keep the tuna covered.

Step 2

How to Cook Tuna on a Stove
Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Fill the pan with a liquid such as wine, fish stock, water or vegetable broth until the tuna steak is just submerged. Add in seasonings such as lemon or lime slices, peppercorns, celery leaves or sprigs of dill, to taste. Tuna can stand up to strong flavors, so add red pepper flakes, serrano peppers, jalapeno peppers or curry powder, if you wish.

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Step 3

How to Cook Tuna on a Stove
Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Bring the liquid up to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes to blend all the flavors.

Step 4

How to Cook Tuna on a Stove
Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Slide in the tuna steak. Turn up the heat until the liquid barely boils, then turn it down to a simmer.

Step 5

How to Cook Tuna on a Stove
Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Simmer for 10 minutes per every inch of fish. For example, if the tuna is 1-1/2 inches thick, simmer for 15 minutes.

Step 6

How to Cook Tuna on a Stove
Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Remove from the pan and serve.

Splendidly Seared Tuna

Step 1

How to Cook Tuna on a Stove
Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Coat the tuna lightly with oil. Press your choice of seasonings such as ground black pepper, lemon zest, garlic or onion powder -- or even commercially prepared spice mixes -- onto both sides of the tuna. Other options include ground nuts, lime zest and mustard.

Step 2

How to Cook Tuna on a Stove
Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Pour barely enough peanut, canola or sunflower oil in the pan to cover the bottom. Use a paper towel to coat the entire bottom of the pan.

Step 3

How to Cook Tuna on a Stove
Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Put the pan on a medium-high burner. The oil should shimmer but not smoke.

Step 4

How to Cook Tuna on a Stove
Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Place the tuna steak in the pan. Turn after 2 to 3 minutes. The bottom should be a rich brown. Lower the heat to medium and turn over the tuna steak. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 5

How to Cook Tuna on a Stove
Photo Credit Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media

Remove the tuna and place on a platter.

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References

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