1

Just tried searing our local Mediterranean version of skipjack tuna on a very hot pan.

However, when trying to slice it, although I'm using a very sharp santoku, the seared portions tear, making for unaesthetic ragged edges on the slices. Of course, the raw portions cut straight through.

How do the pros perform the cuts so cleanly?

4

Practice, practice, practice.

More specifically: The searing will make the piece a bit flakier and less cohesive around the edges, so it requires a more delicate touch than raw tuna. So...

  • if you aren't already, holding the knife properly for maximum control helps.
    • Look at "The Blade Grip" here.
  • using longer knife strokes with very little pressure helps
    • this is why sushi chefs and people cutting smoked salmon at appetizers/delicatessens use long thin knives instead of short fat santoku knives, but if it's a small cut of loin your santoku should be fine
  • holding the piece of loin right near the blade to avoid excess movement and distortion, but without applying enough pressure to flake it helps
  • having your knife sharpened to the japanese 35ish degrees angle helps
  • being very gentle while you're searing it, turning it gingerly with a sharp fish spatula helps
  • cutting it after it's been refrigerated, if that works for your application, helps
  • searing it at as high a heat as possible to get the maximum flavor, while keeping it on the heat for the shortest amount of time possible to get as little flaky flesh as possible helps

Good luck, and happy searing!

  • I'm not sure the knife is the issue. It flakes on the initial cut, and the fish is rather small (6 pounds). – nbubis Aug 9 '17 at 8:53
  • Totally. "but if it's a small cut of loin your santoku should be fine" – ChefAndy Aug 9 '17 at 16:28

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