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Wood Grilled Tuna Steaks with Smoked Fennel Relish


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Ideal grill is a kettle BBQ

Serves 4

  • 1 large fennel bulb, about 500 g
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, halved lengthways
  • extra virgin olive oil or cold pressed rape seed oil
  • 2 large handfuls oak chip, soaked in water for at least 30 mins. 
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp seas salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 50 g hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped (see tip below)
  • 15g fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 4 tuna steaks, each about 175g, 2.5 cm thick

Tip: to toast hazelnuts, spread them on baking sheet and bake in preheated 180 deg c oven/Gas mark 4, turning occasionally, until the skins are cracked and nut flesh is toasted. Transfer to a clean tea towel and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Wrap the hazelnuts in the tea towel and rub them against each other to remove most of their papery skins., Do not worry if every last bit of skin does not come off, it does not matter


  1. Prepare BBQ for high heat 230-290 degs c
  2. Cut of the stalks and the root end of the fennel bulb and discard. Cut the bulb lengthways and then cut away and remove the thick, triangular core. Cut the fennel vertically into 1 cm slices. Cut of the top and bottom of the pepper. Make a cut down the side and open it out into a large strip. Remove ribs and seeds. Bush the fennel slices and tomato halves with 1 tbsp of oil.
  3. Brush t cooking grate clean. Drain and add half the wood chips to the charcoal, and put the lid down on the kettle until the wood smokes. Then lift lid and cook the fennel. pepper (shiny skin side down) and tomatoes (cut side down) over direct heat with the lid closed as much as possible. Cook until the fennel is crisp, 8 minutes, turning once and the pepper until it is blackened and blistered, 6 - 8 minutes (do not turn), and the tomatoes until they are charred, about 6 minutes, turning once. Remove from the grill as they are cooked. Place the pepper strip in a bowl and cover with cling film to trap the steam and leave to stand for 5 - 10 minutes.  Decrease the temperature of the grill to medium heat 180 - 230 degs c.
  4. Remove the pepper for the bowl and peel away and discard the charred skin. Cut the fennel, pepper and tomatoes into 1 cm pieces.
  5. Whisk the vinegar, paprika, 1/2 tsp of the salt and 1/2 tsp of the pepper in a medium no reactive bowl. Gradually whisk in 4 tbsp of oil. Add the fennel, pepper, tomatoes chopped hazelnuts and chopped parsley to the bowl and mix.  Set aside at room temperature.
  6. Brush the tuna steaks on both sides with oil and season evenly with the remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Brush the grill grate clean. Drain and add the remaining wood to the charcoal and put the lid on the kettle. once wood is smoking, cook the tuna over direct medium heat for about 8 minutes, with the lid closed as much as possible and turning the tuna steaks once, until just turning opaque throughout. Remove from grill and serve warm with the relish.

I will be cooking this next week, photos to follow





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