Seared Harissa Tuna Steak

Tuna is often a great favourite with people who love meat, but who are trying to reduce their intake, or those who aren’t usually fans of fish, as it doesn’t taste particularly ‘fishy’. In this recipe, that meaty flavour and firm texture take the strong spices of the hot North African harissa paste well.

When you buy the tuna, choose bright, red-coloured, rather than dull, grey, steaks to ensure maximum freshness. Fresh tuna, which contains beneficial omega 3 essential fat (although in smaller amounts than salmon), can be eaten raw, so serve it as rare or as well done as you like. Some people like to see a ‘sandwich’ effect, with the outside seared and the middle still bright red. Unfortunately, however, carnivorous fish such as tuna, marlin and swordfish shouldn’t be eaten more than once a month due to their heavy metal contamination from the polluted oceans. Serve with a mixed salad and Roast New Potatoes.

Serves 4


4 tbsp harissa

2 tbsp lemon juice

4 tuna steaks, washed and patted dry

2 tsp coconut oil or medium or mild (not extra virgin) olive oil


  1. Mix the harissa with the lemon juice and spread over the tuna to coat thoroughly on all Put the fish in the fridge to marinate for, ideally, 2 hours, but if you only 10 minutes that will still make a difference and don’t worry if you have no time at all.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the tuna Cook on a fairly high heat for 2–3 minutes, at which point, if you look at the side of the steaks, you will see the flesh at the base turning grey as it cooks. Then turn and repeat on the other side.

Cook’s Notes

Gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free


From Delicious, Health Sugar Free by Patrick Holford and Fiona McDonald Joyce. With special thanks to Fiona McDonald Joyce for use of these recipes for Holford Health Club members.


Want to keep reading? Members have full access...

Join Today!


First month free

Then £7.99 per month & free cancellation at any time

FREE health check

Find out your health score & see how healthy you are

Personal Health Plan

Detailed report, analysis & tailored action plan

Free Vitamin D3

With your first purchase at HOLFORDirect (suitable for vegans)

Save money

20% off all Patrick Holford supplements & events plus free delivery over £30

Exclusive Health support

Ask Patrick your questions, access to Low GL recipes & research updates