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Flash in the Pan: Cast Iron Seared Tuna

How to Make Cast Iron Seared Tuna
For a chef, there’s nothing better than cooking local food in a locally produced piece of cookware. In this case, Portland chef, Doug Adams, of Top Chef Season 12 and former executive chef of Imperial Restaurant, prepares fresh Oregon Albacore tuna in an Oregon-made Finex cast iron skillet. And, according to Chef Adams, nothing sears fish or blisters peppers and beans as well as cast iron. Founder and owner of Finex Cast Iron Cookware Co., Mike Whitehead, of course, agrees. And we believe them both. Watch the video above to become a believer, too.


As prepared by Chef Doug Adams


  • Albacore Tuna
  • aromatic spice rub (your preference)
  • Romano beans
  • padrón peppers
  • peaches
  • sweet pepper relish
  • BBQ smoked onions
  • hot chili pepper (sliced)
  • Jacobsen sea salt
  • fennel fronds


1. Apply the aromatic spice rub liberally on the albacore tuna.

2. Fill a large, 12-inch cast iron skillet with rice oil just coating the bottom and heat over medium-high heat. Take your time getting the cast iron hot. The key to success is a consistent constant temperature of the pan and, ultimately, the oil.

3. Place the fish in the pan and lightly sear all sides. A little color is what you’re looking for. Anything more than that and the aromatic spice rub can become bitter if cooked too long or burnt. You do not want the fish cooked through. We repeat, you do not want the fish cooked all the way through. Once the seared tuna is done to your liking, remove from the pan and set aside.

4. Next, crank the heat on the pan and add the Romano beans, which you’re going to cook until barely blistered. At the same time, add in the padrón peppers and sear until also blistered. These vegetables should fall into the “barely cooked” category.

5. While the beans and peppers are blistering, combine the peaches, a few raw Romano beans, the BBQ smoked onions, and the sweet pepper relish together and toss until evenly coated.

6. Finally, place the cold peaches, raw beans, and smoked onions on a plate or cast iron pan (whichever you’re serving in), followed by the tuna, the blistered Romano Beans, and last, the padrón peppers. Garnish with sliced hot chili pepper and fennel fronds and enjoy!

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