These different kinds of seeds—cumin, coriander, and fennel—encrust these tuna steaks, which simply pan fry. At Mangia, we like our tuna rare, deep red in the center. Follow the suggested timing below should you like it better done. If you have any tuna leftover, place small chunks of it on tender lettuce leaves and serve as an hors d’oeuvre.
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tuna steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each, about 1 inch thick
Lemon wedges, for serving
In a mortar with a pestle or in a spice grinder, crush the cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds until fine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Brush the tuna steaks on both sides with ¼ cup of the olive oil, coating well. Sprinkle the crushed seed mixture on both sides of the steaks, pressing it on.
In a large heavy skillet, heat the remaining ½ cup oil over medium heat, until very hot. Add the fish steaks carefully to prevent the oil from splattering. Do not crowd the pan. Cook approximately 2 minutes, turn with a spatula, and cook 2 minutes more for medium-rare fish. (If you like fish that is rare in the center, then reduce the cooking time by 1 minutes; for more thoroughly cooked tuna, add 1 minutes.) Remove the steaks to a serving platter and garnish with the lemon wedges. Best served within 1 hour of finishing.