My grilled tuna with bok choy slaw is a light, healthy meal packed with flavor that's a breeze to whip up any day of the week. Prepared with ahi tuna steaks that are marinated in ginger, garlic, ponzu and sesame, then lightly grilled and topped with a mildly spicy and crisp bok choy slaw, this grilled tuna recipe is brimming with lots of umami flavor!
Tuna Packed with Umami Flavor
A light fish recipe with an Asian slant is one that I often find myself craving...
Whether it's my ahi poke bowl, my ahi tuna salad or some fresh sushi rolls from our local fish market, there's something super enticing about a light, healthy piece of fish coupled with umami-packed flavors, simply prepared and accompanied with a few other fresh ingredients for a burst of color and texture.
And this grilled tuna recipe topped with a mildly spicy and cool bok choy slaw is just the ticket—perfect as a light, mid-week meal when something fresh and healthy is what we're craving!
Tuna steaks (I love ahi tuna for this) are marinated in a mouthwatering combination of garlic, ginger, ponzu sauce and sesame oil to create that savory, Asian-flavor. Then, they’re quickly grilled off using a grill pan for just a few moments per side, just until lightly seared on the outside and medium-rare in the middle.
Of course, something a little vibrant is always welcome as a topper to a freshly-grilled piece of tuna, so my bok choy slaw, kissed with a touch of chili garlic sauce and rice vinegar for tang, is just the pick for a bit of color and cool texture!
My Recipe for Grilled Tuna with Bok Choy Slaw
Since this grilled tuna steak will be served grilled (or seared) on the outside with a bit of pink in the center, I like to go to my local fish monger and purchase a really high-end piece of tuna to make sure it is the freshest it can be. I typically purchase 6 to 7 ounce steaks, about ½ to ¾ inch thick.
I like to marinate those tuna steaks for about 30 minutes to allow the flavor of the ginger, garlic, sesame oil and ponzu sauce (a Japanese citrus-based sauce kissed with soy) to penetrate the tuna.
And while the fish marinates, I prep my simple bok choy slaw by thinly slicing some baby bok choy, some radishes, and carrots for a colorful mix, then dressing them very lightly in rice vinegar and chili garlic sauce for fresh, mildly spicy and tangy flavor.
All that's left is to lightly grill the tuna steaks for a few moments per side on a grill pan, then top with the slaw and enjoy just as is, or with some rice on the side.
Here's a glance at my grilled tuna recipe with bok choy slaw: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I marinate my tuna steaks for at least 30 minutes, or up to an hour.
- While the fish marinates, I prepare by bok choy slaw, and keep that cold in the fridge.
- Next, I grill my tuna steaks a couple of minutes per side (depending on desired doneness), just until the outside is cooked and the inside is still a bit pink.
- To finish, I then top with bok choy slaw and enjoy just as is, or with some rice as an accompaniment.
Grilled Tuna with Bok Choy Slaw
by Ingrid Beer
This tender and flavorful grilled tuna with bok choy slaw is a light, healthy and vibrant meal brimming with loads of umami flavor!
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 284 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes (does not include marination)
Cook time: 4 minutes
Total time: 24 minutes
Grilled Tuna Ingredients:
- 4 small garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press
- 1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger
- ¼ cup ponzu
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 4 tuna steaks (6 to 7 ounces each, can be ahi, albacore, or your desired kind)
Bok Choy Slaw Ingredients:
- 2 cups very finely sliced shredded baby boy choy (about 1 ½ small heads)
- 4 large radishes, sliced into rounds and then sliced into very thin matchsticks
- ¼ cup shredded carrot
- ½ teaspoon (slightly heaping) freshly-grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ponzu sauce
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your grilled tuna ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Prepare the marinade by whisking to the garlic, grated ginger, ponzu and sesame oil, and set aside for a moment. Place the tuna steaks into a large glass dish or large shallow bowl, and pour the marinade over top making sure the tuna is covered. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour.
- While your tuna marinates, gather and prep all of you bok choy slaw ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare the bok choy slaw, add the thinly sliced or shredded bok choy, the radish matchsticks and the shredded carrots to a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together the grated ginger, chili garlic sauce, rice vinegar and ponzu. Keep these slaw ingredients cold in the fridge until ready to serve the tuna.
- To grill the tuna steaks, remove them from the marinade and place onto a plate to hold. Next, place a grill pan over high heat, and brush with a small amount of avocado or peanut oil. Once smoking hot, add the tuna steaks in and grill for 2 ½ minutes per side for medium (little to no pink, yet still very tender and juicy), or 1 ½ to 2 minutes on one side and 1 minute on the second side for rare (pink in the center).
- Remove from grill pan and place onto a platter or large plate. Toss the bok choy slaw with the dressing, and place small mounds of the slaw over top of each piece of tuna. Serve immediately, as is, or with a side of hot rice.
Tips & Tidbits for my Grilled Tuna recipe:
- Good quality tuna for freshness: I like to purchase my ahi tuna steaks from a reputable fish monger to ensure the quality is very good, and the fish is fresh. This is important when you're cooking the fish with some pink still in the center.
- Don't overcook your tuna: Since tuna is such a lean, light fish, it is important not to overcook it, as it will become dry and tough when you cut into it. Ahi tuna is best left a little bit pink in the center for a succulent result, the outside nice and seared with grill marks.
- Once grilled, allow your tuna to rest: I like to treat grilled tuna as I would a piece of steak or chicken, and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes after grilling. Resting allows the juices to distribute inside the tuna, and allows the protein to relax a bit. When ready, I top with my bok choy slaw and enjoy!