Char-Grilled Tuna with Aubergine and Chilli Relish

After the “beast from the east” comes sunshine at last! Enjoy it while it lasts! If you can’t bbq this weekend, why not try char-grilling some seafood as a lovely alternative to burgers and bangers. Fish has so many, great, nutritional benefits going for it, it’s a fantastic source of protein and typically low in fat. It’s also quick to cook, so great for busy people!

Char-grilling is one of the best methods of cooking dense, meaty fish such as tuna. A salsa or pesto is often served with tuna, and this relish is particularly good. Try this char-grilled tuna with aubergine and chilli relish recipe from the experts at Billingsgate Seafood School. It’s a serious show-stopper for dinners with friends.

tuna with relish

Make sure that you’re using the right type of tuna, as there are sustainability issues surrounding this fish, particularly when whole shoals are caught using large nets (such as with the purse-seining method). It is widely agreed that albacore tuna caught by pole is the best option, as these fish are landed individually. Bluefin tuna – the most prized and the most vulnerable – should be avoided. Skipjack tuna, used in tinned tuna, is the most sustainable of all the tuna species. For char-grilling purposes, go for a pole-and-line caught yellowfin steak.


Serves 2

2 yellowfin, tuna steaks, each about 150g (5oz)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


For the relish

1 aubergine

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1-2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped

1 teaspoon honey

5 tablespoons white wine

5 tablespoons mirin

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons freshly-chopped, flat leaf parsley

1 tablespoon freshly-chopped mint (optional)


Cut the aubergine into 2cm (3/4 in) dice, sprinkle with salt and leave to stand in a colander for 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large, frying pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, chilli and aubergine, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the honey, white wine, mirin and soy sauce, bring to boil and cook over a low heat until the aubergine is tender and the liquid has evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the herbs.

Brush the tuna steaks with oil and season lightly with salt and plenty of pepper. Heat a griddle pan until it is beginning to smoke.

Add the tuna and press on the ridges of the pan. Sear for 1 minute, turn over and sear on the other side. Reduce the heat under the pan and continue to cook for a further 1-2 minutes on each side until the tuna has been cooked as required. Transfer to serving plates and serve with the aubergine relish.


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