Seared tuna with lemongrass sauce & broccoli

Seared tuna with lemongrass sauce & broccoli

This is one of those recipe that develops from leftovers and happy circumstances. Let me explain – I happened to see tuna steaks on offer the other day – hurray! – and had to buy them because they’re so expensive and out of budget ordinarily. I had a lonely stick of lemongrass, half a carton of coconut cream and a big fat hunk of fresh ginger in the fridge. I went to a little market today in Brockwell and some tenderstem broccoli caught my eye. I didn’t know what I was going to make with all of these things, so had a little think and devised the following recipe, which happened to be pretty successful. We licked the plates.

This is a fast-paced dish in that as soon as you’ve blended the sauce, all you need to do is fry everything – so you will need good stirring/timing skills and three frying pans. Grab an assistant if you can! It’s also worth serving this on a hot plate if you are skilled enough to manage the timings of this, too.

The sauce in particular is really worth making to accompany something as succulent and robust as seared tuna – the citrusy kick, the hint of Thai flavours, the creamy coconut and sweet garlic combined so well and made it incredibly moreish. It gave out an insane toxic-looking green oil, but that oil tasted incredible, so I’m not even caring if it was slightly nuclear!

You will need:

For the lemongrass sauce:

1 stick of lemongrass, roughly chopped
A 5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tspn minced galangal
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 green chilli, roughly chopped
1/2 tbspn palm sugar
1/2 tbspn fish sauce
1 tbspn dark soy sauce
2-3 tbspn groundnut oil, plus extra to fry
1 tbspn sesame oil
1 tbspn coconut cream
1.5 large handfuls of fresh coriander

For the broccoli:

20 tenderstem broccolis (if that’s what you call them?!)
2 tbspn dark soy sauce
A splash of water
1 tbpsn groundnut oil


2 fresh yellow fin tuna steaks, lightly seasoned
The juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tbspn groundnut oil
1/2 tbspn sesame seeds
A few coriander leaves, to garnish


1 – Blend all of your ingredients for the sauce; use your judgement to check that the consistency is thick but drips easily when drizzled from a spoon
2 – Now start your broccoli: heat the groundnut oil in a wok and add the veg once hot; immediately and carefully pour in a splash of water (to help steam the broccoli first) and the soy sauce
3 – While that starts to fry, heat in another pan a tablespoon of groundnut oil; when hot add the sauce and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat, stirring often
4 – Finally, start your tuna; this only takes 1 minute so your broccoli and sauce should be nearly ready when you start
5 – Heat the remaining oil in another frying pan and when hot add the tuna; fry for 30 seconds on each side and then remove immediately from the heat and squeeze over the lime juice
6 – Serve by placing the broccoli stems on a plate and top with sliced pieces of the tuna steaks; spoon over any remaining soy sauce from the broccoli wok and then dollops of the lemongrass sauce; sprinkle on sesame seeds and coriander


I served this with a sesame rice salad. This is simply 100g of cooked white and 100g of cooked black rice, tossed with sesame oil and a splash of rice wine vinegar and seasoned with salt, pepper, a few slices of chilli, some lime zest, chilli flakes and sesame seeds.



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