Pepper Crusted Tuna, Mustard Sauce and a Pea Shoot Salad

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins

This was adapted by a friend of mine ... who got it from a caterer ... who got it from a friend ... who got it from a magazine, who got it from WHO KNOWS where. Well you get the idea - then I got it. Regardless, I love it and have been making it for a couple of years and it certainly isn't difficult and I love that pea sprouts have become more widely available this days. The sprouts or also known as shoots and tuna mix nicely with the tangy mustard sauce to make a very easy quick dish to make. It literally takes 15 maybe 20 minutes to make. And agreed you will pay a little premium for the pea sprouts but you could also use other micro greens or spring greens, but you don't know what you are missing until you try them. And the tuna ... buy it when it goes on sale, that is when I do. This is rich in flavor but at the same time very delicate and well worth the extra money for a nice Sunday dinner or for company. Just add a soup to start and maybe some grilled bread to make a perfect dinner.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Tuna

  • 4 tuna steaks it will really depend on the size of your tuna steaks (approx 1-1 1/2-inch thick or 4-6 oz each)
  • 12 cup black pepper, cracked (add to a baggie and use a meat mallot or rolling pin to break up, or use a small food processor)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil to coat the tuna
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil to saute the tuna
  • Salad

  • 8 -10 cups pea shoots, micro greens (or baby greens)
  • 1 small red onion, cut in quarters and thin sliced
  • Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 3 12 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced (fresh ginger is best, but if not, get one of those small jars of pre minced)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Prepare the Tuna -- First, remove to the counter so the tuna can warm up a bit. You don't want to cook with icy cold tuna. It should be slightly room temperature.
  2. Dressing -- In a small measuring cup or bowl, mix the the mustard, soy sauce, ginger, shallots, and lime juice and then slowly whisk in the oil to slightly emulsify and make it lightly and creamy. Set aside.
  3. Coating the Tuna -- In your small food processor, lightly grind up the peppercorns, not fine ground, rough cracked and add to the salt and sesame seeds. Add this mixture to a small plate. Now lightly brush (don't soak the fish, just a light coating) one side of the tuna with oil and press into the pepper mixture and then place on a plate and baking sheet lined with was paper or parchment so it doesn't stick. Then do the same thing to the other side. The oil just helps the pepper coating to stick.
  4. Saute -- I prefer cast iron for this, but if not, a large saute pan (NO NON-STICK) for this. Heat up to medium high to high heat and add the oil.
  5. Then saute the tuna on each side for just 2 minutes (less depending on the thickness). You want the tuna medium rare. The top and bottom should have about 1/4" of opaque color which means the outside edges will be done, but the inside still rare but warm. This also depends on how thick your steak is.
  6. Salad -- As the tuna cooks. Just mix the pea sprouts or micro greens in a large bowl with the red onion. Add just 1 teaspoon of the dressing and toss lightly. Add 1 1/2-2 cups of the salad to each of the 4 plates.
  7. Plate -- Once the tuna is done, serve each steak on top of the bed of greens. Drizzle with a little of the remaining dressing and serve any extra on the side. ENJOY!