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Culinary Arts

Gordon Ramsay’s Fish Recipes for Tuna and Salmon

Written by MasterClass

Oct 18, 2018 • 4 min read

Written by MasterClass

Oct 18, 2018 • 4 min read

There are many different types of fish that lend themselves well to cooking: for example, white fish fillets are great for cooking fish and chips or fried fish tacos, or orange roughy and red snapper benefit from being pan-fried with salt, pepper, and lemon wedges. Chef Gordon Ramsay, of the eponymous Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and the Las Vegas restaurant Hell’s Kitchen, demonstrates two creative, delicious fish entrées, with a seed-crusted tuna and a salmon minestrone, below.

Sesame Seed Crusted Tuna Loin with Yuzu-Sesame Seed Dressing and Microgreen Salad

Tuna is a delicate meat with very little fat. Encrusting it with sesame seeds protects the meat during the sear and adds a nutty flavor as the seeds toast. This technique works well with other fish that have little fat and no skin, such as swordfish and mahi mahi. A whisked egg white helps the sesame seeds stick to the fish. Gordon Ramsay adds lime zest to the loin under the crust and again when plating to infuse fragrance throughout the dish. Searing happens quickly with tuna—only 30 seconds on each side over medium heat. If the pan gets too hot, add a touch of cold oil to keep the sesame seeds from burning.

Recipe: Sesame Seed Crusted Tuna Loin


Yuzu-Sesame Seed Dressing

  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons yuzu juice
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Sesame Crusted Tuna

  • 4 4-5-ounce tuna blocks, 1.5-inch by 2-inch by 5-inch
  • 2 cups untoasted white sesame seeds
  • 2 cups black sesame seeds
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 2 limes for zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Microgreens Salad

  • 2 pinches micro chives
  • 3 pinches micro arugula
  • 3 pinches micro celery
  • 3 pinches micro radish
  • 3 pinches micro ruby sorrel

To Make Sesame Crusted Tuna

Mix the sesame seeds together and set aside. Season all sides of the tuna blocks with a few pinches of salt each and one twist of fresh cracked pepper on each side. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Use a pastry brush to paint a thin, even layer of whipped egg whites over the tuna flesh. Zest both limes over the tops and bottoms of the tuna. Pour the mixed sesame seeds onto a plate or sheet tray. Roll the sides and ends of the tune into the seeds to coat. Use your hands to pack the seeds on evenly and set aside on a clean tray.

Heat grapeseed oil in a medium non-stick sauté pan over medium heat for 3 minutes. Do not let the oil get hot to the point where it starts smoking or it will burn the sesame seeds before cooking the fish. Do not let the oil get too cold or the fish will overcook before any color is achieved.

Start with only one tuna portion at a time to get familiar with the cooking process. Set the sesame-crusted tuna blocks in the oil. Tilt the sauté pan to create a reservoir of hot oil in the bottom edge of the pan, keeping the tuna loin close to the elevated edge of the pan, away from the oil.

To Make Yuzu-Sesame Seed Dressing

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the yuzu, lime juice, and lime zest. Slowly add in the sesame seed oil and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle in the cilantro.

To Make Microgreens Salad

Combine all of the microgreens and reserve.

To Plate

Slice the ends off the tuna, then slice the tuna into five slices each. Don’t push the knife down while cutting, just rock it back and forth and gravity will do the work for you. Spoon some of the dressing around the plate and then over the center of the tuna slices. Finish with a pinch of the microgreen salad over the top of the tuna slices and a wreath of microgreen salad around the plate.

Salmon With Shellfish Minestrone

Here Gordon Ramsay shows you how to nail a filet of salmon perfectly and create a delicious, light supper with an easy, yet elegant Italian-inspired shellfish and vegetable minestrone. Harness what Gordon calls “the jewels of the sea” in a broth that money can’t buy.

Recipe: Salmon With Shellfish Minestrone


Shellfish Broth

  • 10oz mussels
  • 10oz cockles or littleneck clams
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig lemon thyme
  • 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • 1½ cups dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • Fennel fronds

Vegetables and Pasta

  • 1 small zucchini, diced into ¼" pieces
  • 1 small bulb fennel with fronds, diced into ¼” pieces, fronds reserved
  • ⅔ cup fresh English peas, or frozen and thawed
  • ⅔ cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup elbow macaroni (Gluten-free tip: there are many wheat-free pastas available in most grocery stores and online.)


  • 4 (4.5-5oz) center-cut salmon fillets, deboned with skin on
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

To Make Shellfish Broth

Scrub the mussels and clams well under cold, running water for 10 minutes, draining the water as needed. Remove the beards from the mussels and discard any open shells. Set aside. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the mirepoix (carrot, celery, and shallot), thyme, and 1 lemon slice, reserving the rest of the lemon for later. Season with salt and sweat for 30 seconds. Add the shellfish and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine, cover and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, cover, and increase the heat to high, cooking for 5-7 minutes until the shellfish open. Strain the broth into a bowl and then pour the broth into a clean pot. Remove the shellfish from the shells into a bowl, discarding any shells that did not open. Set aside.

To Make Vegetables and Pasta

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the vegetables for 2 minutes. Quickly remove the vegetables with a hand-sieve or slotted spoon and rinse under cold water. Drain and reserve in a bowl. Add the beans to the vegetables. Into the pot of boiling water, add the pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes until just al dente. Strain the pasta into a colander, rinsing with cold water to both stop the cooking and remove the starch. Add the pasta to the vegetables and beans.

To Make Salmon

Score the skin of the salmon. Season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and gently place the salmon into the pan, skin-side down. Cook for 6-7 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the fish to rest on a plate while you assemble the soup.

To Finish

Bring the pot of shellfish broth back to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the fennel fronds and zest from the reserved lemon. Add the shellfish, vegetables, beans and pasta and cook gently, just to warm through. Season to taste with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Ladle the minestrone into the center of a bowl. Place the salmon on top, skin-side up and drizzle with olive oil.

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