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Seared Tuna Steaks with Caper Butter


This Mediterranean dish is perfect for warm summer nights.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, August/September 1992


  • 4 fresh tuna steaks, each about 8 ounces and 3/4 inch thick
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to coat tuna
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and dried
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced red and/or yellow pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh arugula


  1. Rub tuna with olive oil, salt, and plenty of pepper. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

  2. In a small bowl, combine butter, capers, and diced peppers. Turn mixture onto a square of parchment or wax paper, and roll into a log about 1/2-inch in diameter. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

  3. Heat an iron skillet slowly over low heat until very hot (a few drops of water splashed in the pan should evaporate almost immediately). Arrange tuna in skillet, and cook for about 5 minutes on each side. It should be well browned and crisp on the outside and rare to medium on the inside.

  4. Arrange arugula on plates or platter. Place tuna on top with a slice of caper butter on each steak. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

The fish can also be cooked on the grill, but make sure it's very hot, so that the outside of the tuna is seared before the inside is cooked through.

Reviews Add a comment

  • ElizParkCoop
    7 JAN, 2016
    This was a delicious recipe. So simple and the caper butter was amazing! Such an easy and healthy dinner to make for a weeknight.
  • MS12013476
    16 NOV, 2014
    I buy individually wrapped and frozen ahi tuna at the warehouse club (Sam's). I wanted a quick meal for one when I want something healthy. I tried this and in under 20 mins the meal was done. I did not re-chill the butter, due to my schedule, I just melted it and added the capers. This steamed broccoli and brown rice made a terrific meal in no time. I will be making this again.