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How To Cook Yellowfin Tuna 7 Easy & Delicious Ways

What Are The Best Ways To Cook Yellowfin Tuna?

Yellowfin tuna is healthy, delicious and can be prepared in a variety of different ways. The most common methods include baking, pan searing, grilling, confiting, sous vide, oil poaching and cook it from frozen. All of these methods are very simple to complete and take between a couple of minutes to 1 hour to prepare, depending on the approach.

When it comes to getting enough omega-3, most of us tend to fall back on the same types of fish. 

Instead of going for the same old salmon or cod, why not switch it up a bit with a little yellowfin tuna?

Yellowfin tuna is full of nutrients, such as niacin and B-12 and is a great alternative to the traditional canned tuna. 

When it comes to preparing this delicious dish, there are numerous ways in which it can be approached. These methods include baking, pan searing, grilling, confiting, sous vide and oil poaching. 

You may be thinking, “I have no clue what some of those are,” but don’t worry. We are about to tell you everything you need to know when it comes to cooking yellowfin tuna to perfection. 

Oh, and if you forgot to take the tuna out of the freezer, all hope is not lost. Read on to find out more. 

How To Bake Yellowfin Tuna In The Oven 

Baking your yellowfin tuna is super easy and takes just 12 minutes to cook. 

If you love sheet pan meals, this approach is ideal as you can add any veggies and potatoes to the fish for a wholesome and hearty meal. 

This recipe makes enough for 4 people and is great for a family weeknight meal. 

We highly recommend preparing these filets with a marinade as this will really help to up the flavor factor. 

Allowing it to sit in the marinade for at least an hour is also preferable as this will allow the juices to soak in. 

If you’re not sure what seasonings to pair with your tuna, check out the FAQ section at the end of this article. 

It’s really important not to overcook tuna as it will lose a lot of its flavor. Tuna is done when it begins to flake and the center is still pink in color. 

Remember that this recipe is specific for ¾-inch thick filets, so keep in mind that the cooking time may vary slightly depending on the size. 

RELATED: 14 Savory Sides To Serve With Tuna Steak

How To Pan Sear Yellowfin Tuna 

If you’re short on time, this method should definitely be your go-to.

Pan searing tuna is the most popular approach as it’s not only super efficient but also super tasty. 

Seared on the outside with a red, medium-rare finish on the inside, deelish. 

ways to cook yellowfin tuna

Allowing your steaks to soak in a marinade for an extended period of time is totally optional, but it will definitely increase the flavors.

This recipe pairs really well with seasonings such as soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, salt and pepper and if you like a little heat, cayenne pepper. 

Remember that depending on the thickness of your steaks, the cooking time frame may alter. 

Cutting your tuna into slices is also not necessary, but it is how it is most commonly eaten. 

How To Grill Yellowfin Tuna 

If you love that summertime flavor on your tuna that only a grill can provide, then this is the approach for you. 

Grilling never disappoints and when it only takes 12 minutes, you know you can’t go wrong. 

ways to cook yellowfin tuna

As always, the longer you marinade your steaks, the more flavor they will have. 

Every grill is different, so to be sure your tuna is done, simply cut a small incision in the center and if it’s pink, it’s finished. 

How To Confit Yellowfin Tuna In A Slow Cooker 

If you’re not familiar with the term, confit essentially indicates a very slow cooking process that allows food to be preserved. 

This recipe uses a slow cooker to complete this and produces a delicious end result. 

Meal prep never looked this good!

ways to cook yellowfin tuna

The cooking time will vary depending on how thick your steaks are. For the size provided in this chart, we recommend cooking the tuna to a temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare and 145 for well-done. 

Don’t throw away the leftover oil! Strain it with a sieve and store it in the fridge for up to 3 months (perfect for salad dressings). 

This tuna can be stored in the fridge submerged in oil in a container for up to 1 week. 

RELATED: 25 Fresh Tuna Recipes Perfect To Impress Your Family

How To Sous Vide Yellowfin Tuna 

Sous vide is a method of cooking where food is placed into a bag and then into a water bath at a regulated temperature. 

This method is used by many high-end restaurants and will be sure to give you a top-tier tuna experience!

Place your tuna steaks side by side in the vacuum bags so that they cook evenly.

Speaking of the bag, ensure no air gets into it and that it is fully covered by the water bath. 

The steaks will sear better in the pan if you dry them prior to placing them in the skillet. 

If your steaks are thicker, remember they may take longer to cook.

How to Oil-Poach Yellowfin Tuna 

Oil poaching is a cooking method where food is submerged into hot oil. 

It’s fairly easy to complete and will make your tuna steaks super silky and tender in texture. 

To enhance the flavors of your tuna steaks, we recommend adding some garlic and rosemary as well. 

You will know your steaks are done in the oven when the center is a rosy shade. 

How To Cook Frozen Yellowfin Tuna In The Air Fryer 

If you’re in a rush to get dinner on the table, the air fryer is definitely your best bet as it only requires a few short minutes to cook your tuna. 

Plus, if you forgot to take your steaks out of the freezer, you can prepare tuna steaks from frozen in the air fryer. 

These instructions are for steaks ½ an inch thick, so if you are using 1-inch tuna steaks, we recommend doubling the time. 

When placing the tuna steaks in the air fryer, make sure they are not touching and in single file. 

If your food has a tendency to stick to your air fryer, add a little oil prior to cooking. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Yellowfin Tuna?

Yellowfin is a type of tuna that is very meaty and mild in flavor. If cooked properly, yellowfin tuna is moist and flaky. It can, however, also be eaten raw as sushi or sashimi. 

Yellowfin tuna is often described as having more flavor than albacore and being more lean than bluefin.

Is Yellowfin Tuna Healthy?

Yellowfin tuna is very healthy and a great source of protein and omega-3. Other vitamins include niacin, pyridoxine (B-6) and B-12. 

Yellowfin tuna is also low in calories. 

What Spices Go Well With Yellowfin Tuna?

Yellowfin tuna can be spiced with a variety of ingredients, including:

  1. Garlic
  2. Parsley
  3. Basil
  4. Lemon
  5. Rosemary
  6. Cayenne Pepper
  7. Chervil 

What Side Dishes Can You Serve With Yellowfin Tuna?

Yellowfin tuna pairs well with a diverse range of side dishes, including:

  1. Salad
  2. Potatoes/fried
  3. Veggies 
  4. Rice 
  5. Pasta salad 
  6. Eggs & English muffin (for breakfast!)

Do You Have To Marinade Yellowfin Tuna?

Marinating your tuna is not necessary, but it has many benefits, including boosting the flavor of your steaks as well as preventing your tuna from drying out during the cooking process.

How To Bake Yellowfin Tuna In The Oven

How To Bake Yellowfin Tuna In The Oven

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Yellowfin tuna filets are marinated for an hour and then placed in the oven for 12 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

Materials

  • 4 ¾-inch thick yellowfin tuna filets
  • Marinade of your choice

Tools

  • Oven
  • Resealable bag
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper or cooking spray
  • Spatula

Instructions

  • Prepare your marinade and place it in a resealable bag
  • Put your filets in the bag and allow to soak for at least an hour 
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Place your filet on a baking sheet with either parchment paper or cooking spray
  • Cook in the oven for 6 minutes 
  • Flip the tuna filets and cook on other side for another 6 minutes 
  • Remove from the oven and enjoy!
How To Pan Sear Yellowfin Tuna

How To Pan Sear Yellowfin Tuna

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Tuna steaks are marinated and then seared in a skillet on medium-high heat for 1 1 /2 - 2 ½ minutes, flipping them halfway through.

Materials

  • Yellowfin tuna steaks (approx. 1-inch thick)
  • Marinade of your choice
  • Canola oil

Tools

  • Paper towel
  • Resealable bag
  • Medium skillet
  • Cutting board

Instructions

  • Prepare your marinade in a resealable bag
  • Place steaks in the bag (OPTIONAL: allow to sit in marinade for up to 1 hour)
  • Heat skillet on medium-high temperature
  • Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil to pan
  • Sear the tuna steaks for 1 ½ minutes if you like yours medium-rare and 2 ½ minutes if you like them well done  (flipping them halfway through) 
  • Remove from pan and cut into small slices on a cutting board
How To Grill Yellowfin Tuna

How To Grill Yellowfin Tuna

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Yellowfin tuna steaks soak in a marinade before being grilled for 5-6 minutes on medium heat on each side.

Materials

  • Yellowfin tuna steaks
  • Marinade of choice
  • Oil

Tools

  • Resealable bag
  • Grill
  • Grill spatula

Instructions

  • Prepare marinade in resealable bag
  • Soak steaks in marinade  (the longer, the more juices it absorbs)
  • Preheat your grill to medium heat
  • Oil the grates on the grill
  • Remove the steaks from marinade and place on grill
  • Baste with leftover marinade
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side and remove from grill 

How To Confit Yellowfin Tuna In A Slow Cooker

How To Confit Yellowfin Tuna In A Slow Cooker

Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

Tuna is submerged into oil in a slow cooker for approximately 50 minutes before being removed and cut into small pieces for preservation

Materials

  • 2 8-ounce yellowfin tuna filets (¾ -1 inch thick)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • Handful fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if desired)

Tools

  • Slow-cooker
  • Small sheet pan/dinner plate
  • Large spoon
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Fish spatula
  • Platter
  • Spoon
  • Storage container
  • Measuring spoons/cups

Instructions

  • Slow-cooker
  • Small sheet pan/dinner plate 
  • Large spoon
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Fish spatula 
  • Platter
  • Spoon
  • Storage container 
  • Measuring spoons/cups 
  • Set your tuna on the sheet pan or dinner plate
  • Put oil, salt, pepper, garlic (smashed) and red pepper flakes (optional) in slow-cooker
  • Set your slow cooker to high and cook for 20 minutes 
  • Use your thermometer to check that oil has reached a temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Place tuna in oil, if oil doesn’t cover it, add more 
  • Put the lid back on the slow cooker and bake for another 20-30 minutes (until tuna starts to flake)
  • Remove tuna from slow cooker with a fish spatula and place on a platter 
  • Use a spoon to break the tuna up into large pieces 
  • Serve and enjoy!

How To Sous Vide Yellowfin Tuna

How To Sous Vide Yellowfin Tuna

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

Tuna steaks are placed in a vacuum seal bag and then submerged in a sous vide water bath until cooked. They are then seared in a pan.

Materials

  • Tuna steaks
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Avocado oil

Tools

  • Sous vide cooker
  • Vacuum seal bag
  • Vacuum sealer
  • Cast iron skillet

Instructions

  • Set your sous vide water bath to a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Season tuna with salt and pepper
  • Put your tuna in a vacuum seal bag and close it 
  • Cook the tuna in the water bath for 45 minutes
  • Heat your skillet on the stove over high heat
  • Add avocado oil
  • Sear tuna steaks for 45 seconds on each side (until you see a crust)
  • Remove from heat and enjoy!

How to Oil-Poach Yellowfin Tuna

How to Oil-Poach Yellowfin Tuna

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

Tuna steaks are spiced and placed in hot oil in a saute pan before going in the oven for approx. 25 minutes. 

Materials

  • Tuna steaks
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Spices of your choice

Tools

  • Oven
  • Saute pan
  • Thermometer

Instructions

  • Remove tuna from fridge
  • Season your tuna steaks with oil, salt, pepper, and spices of your choice 
  • Allow to sit for about an hour until tuna is at room temperature
  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Add enough oil into a saute pan so that it will cover the tuna steaks
  • Heat on low heat for 2-3 minutes (to 120 degrees Fahrenheit) 
  • Set the steaks in the oil and then into the oven in the middle
  • Cook for approx. 25 minutes

How To Cook Frozen Yellowfin Tuna In The Air Fryer

How To Cook Frozen Yellowfin Tuna In The Air Fryer

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes 3 seconds
Total Time: 5 minutes 3 seconds
Difficulty: Easy

Tuna steaks are seasoned and cooked in the air fryer from frozen at 370 for approx. 3-5 minutes, ensuring to flip them halfway through.

Materials

  • Tuna steaks
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Seasonings of your choice

Tools

  • Air fryer
  • Brush

Instructions

  • Stir together olive oil, salt, pepper and desired spices and brush onto tuna steaks - leave for 5-10 minutes
  • Preheat air fryer to 370 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Place tuna steaks in air fryer for 2 ½ minutes 
  • Flip and cook for 1 ½ minutes for medium steaks and 2 ½ for well-done steaks 

Jess Smith
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