Home / Paleo Diet Recipe: Grilled Tuna Steaks Korean Style

Paleo Diet Recipe: Grilled Tuna Steaks Korean Style

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One of the keys of following any successful diet is to find meals that meet the diet’s guidelines, are easy to prepare and taste great.  As a former professional chef, I am always trying to create new Paleo Diet recipes.    I learned this marinade from a friend who was a Korean student studying in Canada.  She said it was a family recipe.  I don’t know if that’s true.  All I know is that it tastes great.

Tuna is an ideal food for followers of thePaleo Diet[i].  It is very lean and contains 68% protein.  Whenever you shop for tuna steaks, look for meat that has a rosy red colour.  Stay away from meat that has any brown or greyish hue to it.  This is not good.  The fish should also smell fresh like the ocean.  You don’t want it if it smells even a little funky!

Serve the tuna with a side of wilted spinach and a ginger, garlic chilli dressing and you’ll being enjoying a healthy, delicious and tasty Paleo Diet meal.

Grilled Korean Style Tuna Steaks with Wilted Spinach


fresh tuna steaks 6-8 oz. each

½ Cup soy sauce

1/3 Cup rice vinegar

1/8 Cup honey

¼ Cup minced green onions

2 T toasted sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon red chilli flakes

10 oz. fresh spinach

2 T rice vinegar

2 t chilli garlic sauce

1 t fresh grated ginger

1 t honey

½ t kosher salt

Sesame seeds



Preheat grill until hot. If using charcoal, ensure that the coals are grey before cooking.

Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, minced green onions, sesame oil, garlic and red chilli flakes in a bowl. Pour half the mixture in a reseal able plastic bag and place the tuna steaks inside the bag. Make sure the marinade covers all steaks and let the steaks marinate for 10 minutes. 

Remove steaks from the bag and save the liquid for basting.

Place the steaks on the hot grill and cook for two minutes. Rotate the steaks 90° and cook for one to two minutes more. This will help give the steaks grill marks.  Brush the steaks with marinade during this time.

Flip the steaks and cook for 2 minutes. Brush with marinade and rotate 90°.  Cook for another one to two minutes. Don’t cook the steaks for more than 8 minutes total. 

Combine 2 T of rice vinegar with 2 teaspoons of chilli garlic sauce, fresh ginger, honey and salt. As the steaks are finishing cooking, sauté the spinach in some sesame oil over medium high heat until it starts to wilt. Add the sauce mixture to the spinach and cook for one more minute. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Serve the reserved portion of the marinade as a dipping sauce.

Tuna should be cooked no more than medium rare. To cook it more than that is to ruin a nice piece of meat. After you have had a properly grilled piece of tuna, you will never go back to the can! This meal is easy to make. It only takes 25 minutes from start to finish. This Paleo Diet recipe is a great example of Paleo eating. Lean protein, fresh ingredients and diverse seasonings, our ancestors never ate this well.

[i] Loren Cordain, The Paleo Diet, John Wiley & Sons, 2002, p.23

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About Layne Pennell