Grilled Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri.
Fresh ahi (also called yellowfin) tuna steaks brushed with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and seared briefly on the grill then served with a bright, tangy and fresh chimichurri sauce. These are the kind of easy, breezy meals that summer is all about.
If tuna is one of those dishes that you only order out, read on. You’ve got to try making it at home – especially this summer – when we’re spending more time at home. This is a restaurant caliber main that’s ready in 10 minutes, so fire up that grill. Serve it with any grilled veggies and lots of rice (to soak up all that amazing chimichurri sauce).
Tuna steaks are one of the easiest, “meatiest” and tastiest things to grill. I would choose a fresh ahi tuna steak over a beef steak any day of the week. You too?
The most important thing to remember is to seek out the best, freshest ahi tuna that you can get your hands on. Because, if you have great tuna, it needs little seasoning (and minimal searing on a VERY hot grill) to make it taste great.
I mean, how gorgeous is this tuna?!
Typically, we buy our fresh tuna from our local fish market, The Clam Man – that’s where this tuna is from. They have the freshest seafood around. And, a few times this summer, our neighbors went fishing 100+ miles off-shore and caught some yellowfin tuna. That afternoon they dropped off LOTS of ahi – the freshest tuna we’ve ever had. Adrian ate pounds + pounds of it, sashimi style with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.
How do you sear tuna?
- Preheat your grill to high heat for 5-10 minutes. Clean and oil grates.
- Brush the tuna steaks with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Put steaks on the HOT grill and reduce heat to medium high.
- Grill tuna for about 1 minute on each side, just enough to sear. The inside will still be rare-medium rare. If you want to cook the tuna through, cook for 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness, flipping halfway through cooking time. You don’t want to overcook the tuna, because it’s a lean fish so will get dry when overcooked.
Is ahi-tuna healthy? Yes! Ahi tuna is:
- Rich in protein, important for muscle and bone health
- Contains omega-3 fatty acids, important for heart and brain health and to decrease inflammation
- Also rich in choline, niacin (Vitamin B3), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, potassium, selenium, phosphorous
What is chimichurri sauce?
Chimichurri is an oil-based Argentinean sauce typically made with lots of fresh herbs, shallots and garlic. It’s usually served with grilled meats and is fresh, bright and tangy – but we also love it with seafood. This version is a bit different, as I used lots of fresh herbs and red onion – no garlic or shallots.
How do you chimichurri sauce?
Don’t be intimidated! It may sound fancy, but you’re just chopping herbs and onion and mixing it with vinegar and olive oil.
- Chop up fresh basil, parsley and cilantro. If you don’t have one, no problem, just up the amounts of the others. And don’t be too worried about measurements of herbs here. Dice up 1/3 to 1/2 of a red onion and add the the herbs, then mix in extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. That’s it!
- Ohh – and you can add a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like. We usually do, but my 3 year old isn’t a fan, so we opted out this time.
Pictured here are all the ingredients for the chimichurri – fresh herbs (I just grabbed a few handfuls from our garden), red onion – and red wine vinegar plus extra virgin olive oil, s&p in that little mason jar. Just chop the herbs and mix everything together.
Here’s how to make this grilled ahi tuna recipe:
Grilled Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri
For the tuna
- 1 lb ahi (yellowfin) tuna steaks cut into two 1/2 lb steaks
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- ground black pepper
For the chimichurri
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro (leaves and stems)
- 1/3 red onion, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
For the tuna
- Preheat grill to high heat. Clean and oil grates.
- Brush tuna steaks (both sides) with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place tuna steaks on grill. Reduce heat to medium high. Cook for about 60 seconds, flip and cook an additional 60 seconds, just to sear the tuna. If cooking the steaks to well done, continue cooking for a total of 8-10 minutes, flipping tuna halfway through cooking time. Remove from grill and place onto a serving plate.
For the chimichurri
- Add extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar to a medium sized bowl. Roughly chop the basil, parsley and cilantro. Add to the bowl, along with red onion, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine. Spoon chimichurri overtop grilled ahi steaks.
- Serve tuna with lemon wedges, white rice and any grilled veggie.
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