Seared Tuna Steaks with Baked Yuca Fries and Cuban Mojo
This bright, light and delicious meal will transport your tastebuds to a sunny day on the beach. Vegans, feel free to make the fries without the tuna, of course!!
- 1 large yuca (or 2 medium yuca) peeled and cut into fries (see video demo in the blog post for how to do this!)
- Olive oil for seasoning
- Kosher salt for seasoning
- 2 ahi tuna steaks (make sure they are the same thickness) thawed (if previously frozen)
- Pepper to taste
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed navel or mandarin orange juice
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt plus more if needed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp fresh oregano can sub for fresh mint or dried oregano to taste
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Zest of 1/2 lime
For the yuca fries:
If baking in an oven, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. If you have a convection function, use that setting as well.
Fill a large stock pot with water and generously season the water with 2-3 tbsp of kosher salt. Bring the water to a boil.
Pour the yuca into the boiling water and cook until fork tender, about 5 minutes. NOTE: You do not want these to be too soft. You want the fork to stick in and not easily slide out.
Remove the yuca from the boiling water and drain into a collander. Spray with cold water from the faucet for 1-2 minutes to neutralize the temperature.
Toss the boiled yuca fries in olive oil, making sure to fully coat each one. Season generously with salt.
Bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes (or until lightly golden brown,) flipping halfway through. Or, air fry for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, until lightly golden brown. NOTE: You don't want to over bake or air fry them until they are medium to dark golden brown because they will become tough to chew and too crunchy without a starchy inside.
For the tuna steaks:
Dry each tuna steak off with a paper towel. Season generously with salt on both sides. Sprinkle each side with paprika (to taste, but I love to load it up!), then season each side generously with fresh cracked black pepper. If you don't like spice, you can skip the pepper, but it adds a lot of flavor (think: blackened tuna - same thing!)
Heat a skillet on high heat and season with oil. Place the tuna steak into the skillet and sear 1-2 minutes per side, until the front and back are deep golden brown. Using tongs, touch each side of the tuna against the hot skillet to ensure even cooking. Remove the tuna steak from the heat and plate. This will yield tuna at a rare internal temperature - for fully cooked, cook each side for longer.
Remove the tuna steaks from the heat. Slice against the grain of the fish (in the opposite direction of the lines that run through the meat) and plate with the yuca fries. Drizzle mojo on top. Feel free to add cilantro on top as well if you have it!