I first saw a grill pan used in 1996 at the Monkey Bar when John Schenk was its chef and I was trailing Adam Shepard while reporting The Making of a Chef. I was surprised and thought it was kind of cheating, implying to the diner with those grill marks that some smoky goodness was sure to come with it. But I saw it again and again in kitchens and when I finally was sent one as a gift, a rank second-bester compared with A-1 Le Creuset (which I still don’t actually own), well, I kind of liked it. If I cooked a tri-tip sirloin sous vide from Under Pressure, I could mark it off after in a grill pan and not only did it look great (a matter of no small consequence), but also the small amount of char contributed just the right bitter counterpoint to all the other flavors going on.

Someone tell me how the video is. I refuse to watch it. It was the first one of a long day’s shoot and I was shaking so bad from the suddenness of being in front of a camera at the unhappy hour of 9 am—on a Sunday morning in lovely Charleston, SC, no less—that I could barely dress the dish without flinging vinaigrette all over the place. (Here’s a link to all the technique videos we did.)

The below recipe is one of those no-brainers that never fails to impress. It’s important to let the tuna sit out for an hour at room temp before cooking. You want it raw in the center but not freezing cold. The sweetness from the orange balances the bitterness of the char marks from the grill pan.

Coriander–Black Pepper Crusted Tuna with Orange-Shallot Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 4 (4-ounce) tuna steaks
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for oiling the grill pan
  • 4 ounces mesclun greens or other fresh salad greens
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (optional)
  1. In a grill pan or skillet over medium heat, combine the coriander seeds and black pepper, and toast until they become fragrant, about a minute once the pan is hot. Remove to a mortar and pestle, and coarsely pulverize them.
  2. Season the tuna steaks with salt. Coat them liberally with the coriander-pepper mixture.
  3. Start the vinaigrette by combining the shallot, lemon juice or vinegar, and orange juice. Season to taste with salt and set aside.
  4. Set a grill pan over high heat. Oil a paper towel and rub the pan with it. The oil should smoke. Press the tuna steaks onto the grill pan and sear until the pan has left distinctive marks, about a minute.
  5. Lift the tuna steaks, rotate them a quarter-turn, and set them back down on the grill pan, pressing down to complete the hash marks. Continue cooking another minute. Then flip and continue cooking about 2 more minutes or until done.
  6. While the tuna is cooking, whisk the 3 tablespoons oil into the juice mixture. Combine the greens with the optional cilantro. Toss with half the vinaigrette and divide among 4 plates. When the tuna is done, slice in half and serve with the greens, spooning the remaining vinaigrette over the tuna and greens.

Serves 4


Other links you may like:

© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


26 Wonderful responses to “Le Creuset: Grill Pan
(with Coriander Pepper Crusted Tuna)”

  • lmenz

    looks great, but i have to ask — how the heck do you clean that pan? despite sealing it, it was not possible to get in between the channels for me. i was probably just doing something wrong, but it still puzzles me.
    thank you!

    • Carolyn Z

      Soak in very hot water. Scrub with a Ruhlman bamboo brush. Then do whatever you do to seal the pan again! Enjoy using this grilling pan.

    • Ryan

      I have a lot of trouble cleaning mine–not because it’s inherently hard to clean, but because the very high temps required really bake on drippings. Since only the thin grill bars touch the food, you need to get it really blazing hot for it to be effective.

      One thing that helps is a generous sprinkling of kosher salt in the grooves to prevent drips from “curing” on the pan.

      • lmenz

        thank you, i’ll try that! i ruined it, unfortunately, but have purchased another option without sides (which i thought may have been the source of the problem). will look for the brush too.

  • Natalie B

    Video was great Michael! Love my LC grill pan! Used it just last night for jerk chicken!

      • Natalie B

        Michael I use the jerk seasoning mix from The Spice House (TheSpiceHouse.com). The have an amazing marinade recipe using orange and lime juice, a bit of soy sauce, their seasoning mix. Its outstanding.

  • Steve-Anna

    Hi Michael~

    Funny you should do this post. I was so excited when I bought the LC grill pan for myself as a gift. i couldn’t wait to try it. My first attempt was a major fail, and, like Imenz, it seemed a pain to clean so, it’s been on a back shelf for over a year.

    You’ve inspired me to try again! Primarily because it’s been well below freezing here in Tucson for the past three nights in a row – too cold to grill, even for me! Plus, I love grilling tuna.

    Great video, BTW, and if I have one, why the heck don’t you have a LC grill pan if you’re doing promotionals for them?!

    Happy New Year to you and Donna, and I’ll report back… ; )

    • ruhlman

      the key is to get pan super hot. so it’s got to be clean, oil should smoke. people at home don’t get pans hot enough, therefore stickage or here, bad grill marks. happy new year to you too!

  • Neil

    What? A Le Creuset post and no give away? I’m Pavlov’s dog to your Le Creuset postings Ruhlman!

  • Deb

    I’ve stayed away from heavy cast iron pans because the directions for my smooth glass stovetop said not to use them. I notice your stovetop is the same as mine. You’ve not had any problems using cast iron on the glass? The Le Creuset has a completely flat bottom?

    Affirmative answers to my questions will cause me to dream of new cooking tools – I sometimes need all the help I can get. ;>

    Stop fretting and watch the video – you did a fine job! ;>

    • ruhlman

      that was a demo kitchen stove so don’t know long term use. would ask manufacturer about using le creuset. bottom is enamel so bet it’s ok.

    • Steve-Anna

      Hi Deb, I have a glass stovetop and I use LC and my cast iron skillet all the time. You just want to be careful not to drag the cookware across the glass. Simply place it and pick it up when you need to, no sliding, and you’ll be fine ; )

  • cleek

    i’ve gone through a long line of calphalon grill pans. they’re cheap, and they work well enough, but they warp like crazy after a couple of months. i can extend their life by banging them flat with a mallet, but they’ll warp again after just a few uses.

    do the Le Creuset grill pans keep their shape?

  • matt

    another brand that is often overlooked (at the expense of le creuset) is STAUB. I love their products–actually prefer them over my le creusets. Staub also makes a grill pan.

  • Website

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post seem to be running off the screen
    in Ie. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know.
    The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon.
    Many thanks

  • Kellen Ferkey

    I can’t see the video because I am at work and we have such things blocked by corporate, but I can say that I LOVE my LC Grill Pan. Ironically enough on my next menu which starts in a week, I will be running a rubbed Ahi appetizer with a honey-lime vin. But I went for the extravagance of sliced avocado for mine. You should give that a try Mr. Ruhlman!

  • Mike

    Once again another great how-to video! It’s getting expensive following you and the equipment I keep buying 🙂 ! But, it’s fun, well-worth it and you are absolutely right – having the best equipment makes cooking SO much easier. Thank you!


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