Tropical Coconut Crusted Tuna Steak

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This Tropical Coconut Crusted Tuna Steak was inspired by coconut shrimp I’d recently had while out to dinner. It’s paired with a dipping sauce of orange juice and hoisin, which is the perfect compliment to the mild sweetness of the crunchy toasted coconut crust.

Coconut Crusted Tuna Steak

I adore coconut anything and have wanted to make some sort of coconut crusted seafood for awhile now. I thought about making coconut shrimp, but after taking inventory of what seafood I already hand in the freezer, I decided that Coconut Crusted Tuna Steak had a nice ring to it.

Coconut Crusted Tuna Steak

I’m not really a tuna-fish-in-the-can girl, but I do enjoy a big fat tuna steak from time to time. I purchase them occasionally when I shop at Costco, and then I divide a large steak into three or four portions depending on how many people I’m serving.

What I like about tuna steaks is how meaty they are and that a little bit goes a long way. And, just like the name implies, they have a steak-like texture. They hold up very well to pan sauteing and also to bold flavors.

Coconut Crusted Tuna Steak

I’ve used a few Asian flavors in the marinade of these tuna steaks along with the dipping sauce. Since the winter months are all about citrus flavors and fresh oranges, I’ve combined fresh orange juice and zest along with ponzu sauce (a citrus based sauce) and ginger. The flavors of the tuna, coconut and citrus compliment each other very nicely.

Coconut Crusted Tuna Steak

The doneness of tuna steaks tends to be a personal matter. From my own point of view, I like mine cooked through the center, but some people enjoy theirs seared on the outside and nice and pink in the middle. Since cooking a tuna steak is such a personal matter, you’ll notice that the cooking time that I’ve written for this recipe is wide-ranged. Please feel free to adjust the cooking time to fit your personal preference for doneness.

You’ll also notice that the preparation time for these Coconut Crusted Tuna Steaks may seem a bit on the long side, although the actual hands on time is not very long at all. I recommend marinating the tuna steaks for approximately 20 minutes before coating with the coconut. After the steaks have been coated, I then recommend that they chill for at least 30 minutes which will keep the coconut coating from falling off the steaks during cooking.

Serves: 3-4     Prep Time: 60 minutes (includes marinate and chill time)  
Cook Time: 10 – 20 minutes

For the tuna steaks:
3 tuna steaks (approximately 4-5 ounces each)
3 tablespoons prepared ponzu sauce
2 tablespoons orange juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup whole wheat panko crumbs
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons coconut oil or canola oil

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon ponzu sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest

-In a shallow dish or pan, pour 3 tablespoons ponzu and 2 tablespoons orange juice over the tuna steaks. Season the steaks to taste with salt and pepper. Flip to coat both sides of the fish with the sauce. Set aside and allow the steaks to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

-In another shallow dish or bowl, combine the coconut flakes, panko, orange zest, ginger, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix well to combine.

-Press the marinated tuna steaks firmly into the coconut coating to coat all sides. Place the coated steaks on a plate or baking sheet and refrigerate the coated steaks for 30 minutes.

-Meanwhile mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and chill.

-In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the coated tuna steaks and cook on both sides until your preferred doneness (approximately 5 minutes per side, for medium doneness).

-Serve hot along with the sauce for dipping.


Coconut Crusted Tuna Steak
Coconut Crusted Tuna Steak
Since we’re talking tuna I though it would be appropriate to coordinate this recipe along with my sushi lovers wine glass. Now, go pour yourself a nice glass of wine and head to the kitchen to make this Coconut Crusted Tuna Steak. You can thank me later. *wink*
Sushi Lovers Wine Glass

If there is ever anything I can paint for you, from glassware to fabrics, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit my shop on Etsy. Custom orders are always welcome, and I will happily design from any sort of photo or description you send my way.

Kudos Kitchen by Renee ~ Where food, art, and fun collide on a regular basis!


Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!


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  1. Oh how wonderful! I've never had coconut crusted anything before, but it looks amazing!

  2. I love tuna and coconut so I am positive I would love this.

  3. My hubby loves tuna steaks and I love coconut, and we would both love this sauce. I think we need to try this recipe, thanks!

  4. Never thought to crusted tuna with coconut, I always crust up shrimp. Great idea can't wait to try it!

  5. Ok, this looks fabulous and my husband would go crazy for this! Pinned for later 🙂

  6. That coconut crust looks mouthwateringly delicious!

  7. I love all the flavors in this! My husband adore tuna and would absolutely love this!

  8. What a great recipe! I've never thought to prepare tuna like this — what a fab idea! Love the crunchiness, flavors, and and how pretty it looks!

  9. MM! I've never made Tuna Steak. This sounds amazing!

  10. I'm a huge fan of coconut so I am totally intrigued with this coconut crusted idea. And my kids are huge coconut shrimp fans. I'm thinking I need to try this out and get a new coconut recipe going for dinner. Great idea, Renee!

  11. Tuna and coconut sounds like a fantastic combination! Kind of makes me think of those coconut crusted shrimp. Mmm..

  12. I'm a huge fan of coconut shrimp and coconut chicken, so I think I need to try this – it looks so good! Great flavors in the marinade, as well.

  13. That was very inventive! I think the sauce sounds wonderful too!

  14. I have never thought to bread tuna in coconut! I know I would love it since I love all things coconut 🙂

  15. Now this is a dish that says "ALOHA" – I am LOVING this recipe Renee – so inspired!

  16. Wow! I would have never thought of making coconut crusted tuna steak – you're a genius!! Unlike you, I like my tuna pretty much raw – but I agree, the texture is very steak-like (which is why it's such a great red meat substitute for me). I'm excited to try your recipe!!

  17. Oh my goodness, I love coconut on fish SO much. I've never thought to try it on tuna. Totally trying this. It looks amazing.

  18. Ahh! What a great idea! I hated coconut until I tried it toasted and this…well it's on my menu for next week. Thanks girl!

  19. I dig using coconut as a crust on a number of foods…my brain never went to tuna. Smart thinking, they flavors sound delicious!

  20. Making more fish recipes is one of my New Years resolutions! Saving this recipe to try – it looks awesome!!

  21. What an amazing idea — I love coconut shrimp but have never thought to give the same treatment to other seafood. Looks so good!

  22. Pingback: Baked Salmon Salad Spread

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