Oil-Poached Tuna with Cantaloupe Conserva Tell a Friend

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Only quantities of ingredients are changed; recipe Directions below will not reflect those changes.


  • 3 whole - Lemons, 2 thinly sliced, 1 zested and juiced
  • 12 cloves - Garlic, 2 cloves roughly chopped
  • 6 sprigs - Fresh Thyme
  • 4 leaves - Bay Leaves
  • 4 - Tuna Fillets, 6-7 oz each
  • - Salt
  • - Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 quarts - Olive Oil, Plus 1/4 cup
  • 3/4 cups - Ripe Cantaloupe, diced
  • 1 tablespoons - Red Onion, minced
  • 5 leaves - Mint, thinly sliced
  • 5 leaves - Basil, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cups - Cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 - Fresno Chili, seeded and stem removed, minced
  • 1 - Lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 1/4 cups - Mayonnaise
  • 3 - Oil-Packed Anchovy Fillets
  • 3 tablespoons - Drained Capers
  • Directions:

    1. Place 2 sliced lemons, 10 garlic cloves, thyme and bay leaves in a deep, wide pot. Sprinkle tuna with salt and pepper and set aside. Add 2 quarts olive oil to pot. Over medium-low heat, warm oil gently (no small bubbles should form at pot's base) and monitor with a deep-fat thermometer. When oil reaches 130 degrees, after about 5 minutes, add tuna. Fish should be completely submerged (add extra oil, if needed). Poach at steady heat for 8 minutes. Using a knife, cut halfway through one fillet to make sure fish is almost cooked through (there should be no red). Remove pot from heat and let fish cool slightly in oil.

    2.While tuna poaches, make melon conserva: In a medium bowl, mix melon, onion, mint, basil, cucumber, chili, ¼ cup oil and lime juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

    3. Make caper aioli: In a food processor, place mayonnaise, 2 cloves chopped garlic, ½ cup poaching oil (taken from cooling pot of fish), zest and juice of 1 lemon, anchovy fillets and capers. Purée until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and extra lemon juice, to taste.

    4. To assemble, spoon 2 tablespoons caper aioli on center of four plates. Remove fish from oil. Top aioli with tuna and generously spoon relish over top.

    Brief Description

    Tuna steak turns soft and flaky when poached in olive oil

    Main Ingredient:


    Category:  Fish or seafood

    Cuisine:  American

    Prep Time: 30 min


    WSJ Off Duty, 9/1/2012, Chef Jenn Louis, Lincoln Restaurant, Portland, OR

    Posted By:


    Posted On:

    September 1, 2012

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