Marinated tuna on samphire

Grant Hawthorne

Grant Hawthorne

22nd November 2010

Marinated tuna on samphire

Grant’s marinated and seared Tuna on Samphire
The recipe encapsulates the Japanese term of Umame. The sweetness of the plum wine, the piquant flavours of the pickled ginger and the richness of the tuna loin, combine to create a tuna dish that can be simply eaten raw or flash grilled for added flavours.


  • Ingredients:
  • 4kg Loin of Tuna (Diced into 2” cubes)
  • Australian Rudder Fish is my recommendation
  • (Alternatives for this Tuna – use SASHIMI grade Tuna – Big Eye or Yellow fin)
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Crushed Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Cracked Black Pepper
  • 150g Pickled Ginger (roughly chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Chives
  • 500ml Soy sauce
  • 200ml Olive oil
  • 300ml Lemon juice
  • 200ml Mirin (Sweet Japanese Sake)
  • 200ml Plum wine


Mix the marinade with a whisk, till the emulsion forms. Pour liberally over the tuna, ensuring the pieces are well coated. Refrigerate for a minimum of 3hours (prior to use) and a maximum of 72 hours.
Drain the tuna from the marinade. Heat a pan till smoking hot (high heat).
Lightly grease the pan with a little olive oil and flash fry. This does create a lot of smoke and flame… but it’s necessary for the flavours to be encouraged.
Serve immediately astride a salad, or if you require something more substantial, a stir-fry of vegetables, with Udon noodles or (when in season) some sautéed Sea Asparagus (Samphire).
Garnish with fresh lime wedges.
The tuna should be deep in colour, preferably Sashimi grade and not targeting the endangered list. The Western Australia Rudder Fish would be my personal recommendation, for taste, visual impact, texture and flavour.
The serving style is simple, informal with a slight emphasis on stacking for height and visual appeal.
Over many years that I have served this dish, I have rarely given out the recipe, as it’s a signature dish that I’ve taken with me through all my kitchens both here and abroad. Recently I have given it out to a few people and had it published locally.
The recommended liquid accompaniment would be a simple Chenin Blanc or a light Pinot Noir.

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