On my boyfriend’s birthday, I wanted to make him something amazing and special. I’ve made him this meal before, but it’s so yummy that we never get tired of it! Ahi tuna steaks rubbed with a spicy mix, served with coconut rice and mango salsa. I swear it tastes like the tropics exploded in your mouth. If you want to impress someone without slaving away in the kitchen for hours on end, this is the way to go! I know people are always impressed by a cook who can make a nice roast, but honestly, this is so much better, and it doesn’t require rubbing and stuffing and basting and gravy-making, and potato-mashing and meat-carving. Unless your guy is a real meat and potatoes guy. Then maybe opt for the roast. Anywhoo, onto the recipe!
First, make the marinade for your tuna steaks. Mix together chopped garlic, lime, and olive oil. I usually leave the steaks to marinate in a dish, but because I was bringing everything over to the boyfriend’s place, I dumped it all in a sealed plastic bag for the sake of portability. Also, I didn’t have lime, and used lemon instead. It was fine.
Then, make your spice rub. I’ve tried to buy store-bought cajun rubs, but nothing tastes as good as this mixture! So get yourself to the bulk spice section of your grocery store, and load up. You will need:
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
Mix it all up. This will be more spice mix than you need, so keep it in a container for future use. Also, do not inhale it like I did, in an attempt to smell all the spices together. Pain will ensue. This mix is a bit spicy too, so if you want it mild, omit the cayenne. Or add more if you want.
I brought over my plastic baggie of tuna steak and container of spice to boyfriend’s place. And there, some rose wine and I continued my recipe.
Make the coconut rice. I use jasmine or short-grain rice, but any type will do. Make it the way you usually do (I use a rice-cooker because I’m Asian, and what Asian has no rice-cooker in their kitchen? And also, laziness.), but replace half the water with coconut milk, and here’s the secret to really fragrant coconut rice… Add a bit of coconut essence! You can find it in any bakery aisle along with the vanilla essence and stuff.
Next, the salsa. Mix together:
- 1 fresh mango – peeled, pitted, and chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 avocado
Now you’re ready to cook the steaks! Take out of the marinade, and generously rub the spice mix on both sides. Make sure your pan is hot, and grill on each side for maybe… 3-4min each.
Slice it up, and it should be red in the middle. Serve with the coconut rice and lots of mango salsa and get ready for it to taste as good as your kitchen smells!
I also strongly recommend a Marble Slab chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream birthday cake for dessert.