Seared Ahi Tuna
Seared Ahi Tuna

Marinate ahi tuna steaks, also known as yellowfin tuna, in sesame oil, soy sauce and spicy seasoning. Fry briefly on both sides and dinner is ready.

After graduating from graduate school in the late 80’s, I spent a year studying martial arts at Kyoto University in Japan.

The school cafeteria served many things you would never find in the States (e.g. natto spaghetti), but one thing I couldn’t get enough of was seared ahi tuna, freshly made to order.

My own Ahi Tuna Steak recipe

Inspired by a seared ahi recipe in the South Beach Diet Cookbook, I found some gorgeous ahi tuna steaks at Whole Foods. The South Beach recipe called for searing the ahi tuna steaks with peppercorns, but I was looking for a more Asian twist, so I made my own marinade with tamari, sesame oil, and ginger.

The best Ahi tuna to buy

Ahi tuna is also known as yellowfin tuna. To make seared ahi, you need to start with very fresh, sushi-grade ahi, since you’ll only lightly sear the outside and leave the inside raw. Not even rare, but raw. The freshness and quality of the fish make a big difference in this dish. So don’t even try it with inferior fish.


Check out this Seared Ahi Tuna recipe

Is it safe to eat the leftovers?

You can safely eat the fish the next day. You can refrigerate leftover raw fish in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.

It’s best not to freeze leftovers as this will change the texture.

Swaps and Substitutions

So many of you have made this recipe over the years (thanks!) and added your own twists. Here are some of our favourites.

  • Add something spicy to the marinade like sambal oelek, gochujang, wasabi or even hot chili oil.
  • Sprinkle the tuna steaks with white sesame seeds for some crunch.
  • Serve with aioli (garlic mayonnaise) drizzled on top.
  • Add some pickled onions for garnish.
  • Grill steaks instead of searing them!

Pro tip: make extra marinade for dipping

A few of you have suggested this over the years and we agree! Make some extra marinade, set it aside before adding the fishand then serve it as a dipping sauce with the seared tuna.

What to Serve with Your Ahi Tuna:

  • How to make white rice
  • Sliced ​​fennel salad
  • Vietnamese daikon and carrot pickles
  • Spinach with sesame and garlic
  • Blistered shishito peppers

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Seared Ahi Tuna

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
5 minutes

60 minutes

total time
75 minutes

2 servings


  • 2 (6 to 8 ounce) ahi tuna steaks (3/4 inch thick)

For the marinade:

  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce (or gluten free tamari)

  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

  • 1 clove Garlic, chopped

  • 1 spring onionthinly sliced ​​(a few slices reserved for garnish)

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice


  1. Marinate the tuna steaks:

    Combine the marinade ingredients and brush the tuna steaks with the marinade, cover tightly and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

  2. Fry the tuna:

    Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, remove the tuna steaks from the marinade and sear them for 1 to 1.5 minutes on each side (slightly longer if you want the tuna to be less rare than shown).

  3. Cut and serve:

    Remove from pan and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Sprinkle with a few shallot slices.

    Serve on its own, with white rice or over a salad or thinly sliced ​​cabbage or fennel. Served over sliced ​​fennel salad.

nutritional information (per serving)
431 calories
15g Fat
3g carbohydrates
68g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!