Tuna Reubens

At our annual trip to the beach last year my husband and I met some friends at a waterfront café where the specialty was fried grouper sandwiches. Instead of the restaurant’s specialty, I opted for a Tuna Reuben and immediately was glad I did.

I’ve created my own version of this surprising sandwich here. Thin tuna steaks that are seasoned with salt and pepper, and then rubbed with olive oil before hitting a hot grill replace the traditional corned beef. Then, coleslaw replaces the usual sauerkraut. My coleslaw for this delicious sandwich is simply prepared cabbage for slaw tossed with the classic Reuben’s Thousand Island dressing. The buttered and toasted rye bread and Swiss cheese in the original are still here.

This is a sandwich worth serving to company, or as a delicious weeknight sandwich supper. Just add some chips and carrot sticks for a memorable meal.

  • 1 10-ounce tuna steak (about 1-inch thick) sliced in half horizontally into 2 thin steaks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage for coleslaw*
  • 3/4 cup prepared Thousand Island dressing  
  • 4 thick slices rye bread
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
Preheat range-top or outdoor grill on high for 5 minutes. Season tuna steaks with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until middle of tuna is still slightly pink. Top each steak with a slice of Swiss cheese.

While grill preheats, combine shredded cabbage with Thousand Island dressing in a bowl. Brush one side of each bread slice with melted butter and grill or broil for 1 minute, until toasted and golden brown.

Place half of the coleslaw on one slice of prepared rye bread, buttered side down, top with a tuna steak and top with the another slice of bread, buttered side up.

Makes 2 sandwiches.

*Shredded cabbage for coleslaw is available in cellophane bags in the produce section of most supermarkets. Two cups of thinly sliced green cabbage may be substituted.