Outdoor grilling, of course, is the preferred method for cooking these beautifully marinated pieces of tuna. But when that isn’t available, the oven is a great alternative that yields comparable results. You know what they say – the secret is in the sauce.
TUNA BELLY & MARINADE:
- 2 pounds tuna belly
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup small-diced tomatoes
- 1 mango or 1 cup small-diced mango (ripe and firm)
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- ½ red onion, minced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ lime, juiced
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- You can use the entire slab(s) of tuna belly or cut them into small serving portions.
- Combine the marinade ingredients: soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, sugar, ground pepper, Sriracha, and Worcestershire sauce. Save the butter for the sauce later. I like blending all the marinade ingredients in a mixer to meld all the flavors and get absorbed easily by the fish. Or you can just grate the garlic and the ginger for a similar effect. Marinate the tuna for at least an hour to overnight. Marinating longer than that will change the texture of the fish.
- When ready to cook the fish, take them out from the marinade. Make the sauce by simmering the leftover marinade until thickened and add butter at the very end. Set aside. You may reheat before serving.
- Grill: Preheat on high (about 500° F). Lightly grease the clean grates with an oiled paper towel and place the fish skin side down. Lower the heat to medium (about 450° F). Cook each side covered for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness. You want a nice char on the outside. Baste with the thickened sauce halfway through.
- Oven: Preheat to 450° Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup) and add a little oil to prevent the skin from sticking. Place the tuna belly slab or pieces spacing evenly in between them for proper heat circulation. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness. Take it out of the oven and baste with the thickened sauce. Broil on high for another 5-10 minutes until nicely charred.
- Serve: Spoon sauce over tuna, sprinkle some fried garlic, and serve with tomato-mango salad.
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Taste and adjust accordingly. Refrigerate until ready to serve.