When I was growing up my oldest brother had a beautiful restaurant overlooking the regional airport in my hometown of Muncie, Indiana, and it was one of the places I was first introduced to some classic restaurant fare.  One of my favorites was Chicken Oscar, which was a sautéed chicken breast topped with crabmeat, steamed asparagus, and hollandaise sauce.  This was an adaptation of Veal Oscar, a dish supposedly developed for a former king of Sweden.  I still make a grilled version of Chicken Oscar, and if I want to step it up a notch I make this version, with rare, grilled tuna in place of the chicken.

Grilled Tuna Oscar

This is not a difficult recipe, but you do have to time things properly to keep everything hot.  I pre-steam the asparagus and then briefly reheat it in a pan with a little butter, and I heat the crabmeat in the same pan.  You can do this while the tuna is grilling, and make the blender hollandaise at the same time.  Amounts vary according to how many tuna steaks you are grilling, and the sauce will keep for another use.  To reheat the sauce, place it in a bowl over a larger bowl of simmering water, and stir until just heated through.

Grilled Tuna Oscar
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
  • 2-4 tuna steaks
  • 4-5 asparagus spears per steak, steamed
  • 1/3 cup lump crabmeat per steak
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • For the sauce:
  • 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • juice of one lemon (about a quarter of a cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 4 ounces salted butter, heated until hot to the touch
  1. Lightly oil a grill pan and heat it over medium-high heat. Pat the tuna steaks dry and place them on the pan. Grill each side until it appears cooked most of the way up--you want a thin band of pink still left in the center of the fish. The cooking time will vary according to the thickness of the steaks.
  2. While the fish is grilling, warm the asparagus and the crabmeat in the two tablespoons of butter. I use a medium skillet and place the crab on one side and the asparagus on the other.
  3. To make the sauce, place the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and white pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Drizzle in the hot butter with the blender running. If you want to add fresh herbs, like tarragon, stir them in at the end.
  4. To assemble, place a grilled tuna steak on each serving plate and top with some of the warmed asparagus and crab meat. Drizzle with the sauce and serve.

Grilled Tuna Oscar

I often stir some fresh tarragon into the sauce right before serving, but it was too early in the season, given our late snow storms–my herbs are just now beginning to emerge.  Fresh thyme is also nice if you have it on hand.

This is a great special-occasion dish, and it comes together quickly.  If you enjoy seafood, you will like this adaptation.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. Looks gorgeous and I love your story…so nice to make something that can take you back to a favorite memory!

    1. I have great memories from the restaurant!

  2. Sounds and looks yummy.

    1. thanks, Kat!

  3. Chicken Oscar was on of my favorites growing up too. It would be amazing with tuna! What a great idea!

    1. It really is nice with the tuna–still love the chicken version, too!

  4. Those are certainly great memories! I remember cooking many an order at the restaurant. It was also pretty darn yummy.

    I love this adaptation.Given that my two family members that “don’t do fish” really liked the tuna steaks I fixed a while back, I am going to have to try this out. Sadly, I will probably have to leave out the crab meat for those two folks. Ian and I on the other hand will most certainly include the crab meat! YUM!

    1. You really, really need to get them to like fish…

  5. Beautiful dish Angela!! I do believe I have never had any “Oscar” dish?? Crazy but true!! I will definitely have to try!! I love the tuna adaptation idea!! Thank you!!

    1. You have to try it, Tina! It was popular for a stretch in the 80’s and early 90’s–time for it to make a comeback…

  6. Just gorgeous! Definitely something I could serve to the family or to dinner guests. We love seafood so we just have to try this. Thanks!

  7. This looks delicious! You bet i will be trying it sometime this summer.

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