Ahi tuna with fennel and red peppers

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Ahi tuna with fennel and red peppers

Kaiser Permanente is big enough to have a significant impact on our local food system. It's all about linking existing demand with supply. 

Apropos to this recipe, I had the privilege to speak to an expert in sustainable seafood issues. She referred me to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch website. Check it out. 

What we do with our forks on a daily basis affects the broader ecosystem. This week’s recipe features ahi tuna, which meets the criteria on the website. 

This is low fat, tasty, quick, and healthy.

Servings: 2


  • 2 6-ounce tuna steaks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Lightly brush the tuna steaks with olive oil. 
  2. Crush the fennel seeds and peppercorns with a mortar and pestle (or smash them in a bag with the bottom of a skillet.) Press into both sides of the tuna and let rest. 
  3. Sauté the fennel in the oil until golden. 
  4. Add bell pepper and garlic and sauté for about a minute more. 
  5. Add water and simmer covered for about 10 minutes or until the fennel is tender. Remove the lid and boil until the liquid is almost evaporated. 
  6. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Keep warmed. 
  7. In a heavy skillet over moderately high heat, add a little oil and sear the tuna steaks for about 2 minutes on each side or until barely pink in the center. 
  8. Serve with the fennel and red pepper mixture spooned over the steaks.