Are you in the rare position of having leftover tuna ? Then you know how precious this fish meat is, and most probably don’t want to cook it more than it already is. But alas, how can you reheat without further cooking it ? There’s a very slim chance of obtaining that, but it’s still salvageable.
So how do you reheat tuna ? Especially if you want to keep it rare in the middle. There are a few ways to use leftover tuna steak, and we think all of them sound downright delicious. We’ll throw in a couple of cold options, simply because tuna can be enjoyed several ways.
How to reheat tuna
The best way to reheat tuna is to bring it up to room temperature, and then add it to a medium-hot non-stick pan. If you were to use a very hot pan, you’d get a sear that will further cook the tuna.
Do not use an oven, toaster oven, or air fryer for this kind of operation. If you’re looking to preserve the tuna’s doneness, any of the previous three options are much harder to control than a pan or griddle.
Of course there are a few other ways of reheating tuna or using it cold, but it really matters what you’re planning to do with it. We’re assuming you have a medium-rare tuna steak on your hands, so that’s what we’re discussing here. Let’s take a look at how to save it.
1. Heat it again on both sides
You may heat a tuna steak in a non-stick pan, just remember to not let it get too hot. If you use high heat, you get a new sear, which will further cook the steam and possibly dry it out.
To make sure this doesn’t happen and you don’t have a hot outside and lukewarm interior, let the steak come back up to room temperature for at least half an hour before heating.
Read also: Why Is Tuna Red ?
If you use a lid on the pan, you get an even heating but lose any crisp edges the steak may have had. It’s up to you whether you want to keep that or not. If you’re letting the steak cook for a little longer, it might be a good idea to use a lid, to trap some moisture so it doesn’t dry out as fast.
2. Poach in olive oil, use in a salad
Another option would be to poach the tuna steak in olive oil, or any vegetable oil for that matter. Poaching is gently cooking a piece of meat in liquid, in this case oil, until it’s perfectly done and tender.
With tuna, you will end up with a piece of fish that is cooked all the way through, but not overcooked. If you don’t want olive oil you can use another type of oil, or simply a fish broth.
You can the use the resulting meat as-is, as a new steak. Or, you can slice it thinly and add it to a nice, warm salad.
3. Use cold as sashimi, slice thinly
Skip the heating, and get the tuna steak to join a sashimi party ! Sashimi normally uses raw meat, very thinly sliced. But in this case you easily use your medium-rare tuna steak. Again, let it come up to room temperature before serving.
Sashimi has no rice or other garnishes, it’s just the meat, wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger. The whole point of sashimi is to showcase the quality of the meat and the skills of the sushi chef.
4. Use cold in sushi, either rolled or loose
If sashimi isn’t really your thing, then you can easily opt for sushi. You have to cook the rice and prepare the other ingredients, but if you’re up for a little project than why not ?
If using tuna for sushi, make sure to cut it in long, thin strips. Don’t crowd the sushi roll ! Or, you can make a loose type of sushi, without rolling it. In a bowl, arrange a side of rice, thinly sliced tuna, cucumber, and whatever else you’d like to add to your sushi. You can even add chopped or flakes nori as well.
5. Slice thinly and add to a salad
If you want an even easier and simpler method of using your leftover sushi, then just use it in a salad. Get yourself some nice feta cheese, a bit of arugula or rocket, fresh tomatoes, and add in that tuna with a few lettuce leaves.
The tuna will be great on its own as a pop of flavor and it’s a nice way to enjoy a cool salad on a hot summer day.
Never microwave fish, you get uneven cooking !
Whichever method you decide to use, do no microwave the tuna. It may be tempting, it may be the easiest method out there but you get inconsistent results.
A microwave will not heat the meat evenly, and it will easily overcook it. And if you’re looking to keep the stake medium-rare then you really want to stay away from the microwaved tuna.
How do you store leftover tuna ?
If you’ve just brought your tuna steak home, make sure the container it’s in is airtight. If it’s not, feel free to cling-wrap it. This way it would cross-contaminate with other food in your fridge.
In terms of how long to keep it, make sure you consume it within 24 hours after storing. Tuna is seafood, and even if it’s lightly cooked it will still spoil much quicker than other types of meat.
Can you freeze a tuna steak ?
You can freeze a cooked tuna steak if you like, but you have to understand the texture will not be the same when you reheat it. The only other thing you can do with a thawed tuna steak that’s already been cooked is to cook it completely, and the shred it, just like canned tuna.
If you’re fine with that then go ahead and freeze the steak. As a shredded, cooked tuna it can be used in several ways, like for a tuna salad, a tuna roll, or a tuna casserole if you like.
If you don’t feel like freezing the tuna and the thawing it, nor do you feel like eating it reheated tomorrow, your cat will most likely love to have your leftovers. If you’ve got any other food curiosities be sure to check the related articles below, we’re always adding more food facts to make your life that much easier.