It Really Doesn't Take Long To Perfectly Sear A Tuna Steak

seared, sliced tuna steak
seared, sliced tuna steak - YARUNIV Studio/Shutterstock

When most people think of tuna, they think of canned tuna fish or something like sushi. But while canned tuna is fine for what it is, and sushi is certainly wonderful, those aren't the only ways you can eat tuna. If you've ever experienced the joy of a freshly seared tuna steak, you know it could justifiably be considered the king of all seafood cuts.

But they're not just called "steaks" because they're a big hunk of meat you can cook in a pan or on a grill. With a tuna steak, the entire point is to lightly sear it and leave the inside only slightly cooked, just like you would with a rare or medium-rare steak. The key here is definitely "lightly" seared; tuna steak doesn't take long to cook, and if you want it rare, you only need to cook it for less than 3 minutes per side.

Read more: 12 Underrated Types Of Fish You Should Try At Least Once

Tuna Steak Is A Super Quick Meal

uncooked tuna steaks on board
uncooked tuna steaks on board - Da-kuk/Getty Images

Because of how quickly they cook, tuna steaks aren't just delicious but one of the fastest dinners you can make. You don't absolutely need to marinate them to bring out their flavors (though you certainly can if you want if you have the right ingredients), and you don't even need to season them heavily; much like steak, some salt and pepper will usually do the trick. But the real-time saver here is the cooking time: you only need to cook them for about one minute per side. Generally, the rule is if the edges that haven't come into contact with the pan have changed color, you're probably already done.

And they're arguably best when they're cooked rare. Sure, you can cook a tuna steak all the way through, but at that point, you've spent significantly more money to create the effect of canned tuna, so why not just buy a can of Starkist? It's not just that they taste better either; because they're fish, you're not nearly as worried about cooking them through to avoid bacteria like salmonella and E. coli.

Tuna Steaks Come In Different Varieties

raw tuna steak with rosemary
raw tuna steak with rosemary - Ermak Oksana/Shutterstock

It's also important to know that there isn't just one variety of tuna for tuna steaks. Much like there isn't only one variety for canned tuna (the most common are albacore and skipjack), tuna steaks come in different varieties. The most common you'll see are albacore, yellowfin, and bluefin -- although the latter will by far be the most expensive and the most delicate. Bluefin is a sushi-grade tuna; if you've ever seen stories about individual fish selling for exorbitant amounts at Tokyo fish markets, those are bluefins they're talking about. So, while you could theoretically get bluefin tuna steaks, you might want to stick to something like yellowfin (which is still incredibly delicious, even at a cheaper price point). The cooking time is generally pretty similar for all of them, though.

Whichever variety you use, as long as you don't overcook it by leaving it on too long, you'll have a great dinner experience. Consider making it a regular part of your protein rotation.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.