Seared Ahi Tuna with Toasted Sesame Dressing

5 from 6 votes

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Seared ahi tuna with this toasted sesame dressing is legit EVERYTHING. One of my favorite ahi tuna recipes. Have in a rice bowl or make lettuce wraps with butter lettuce. It’s super quick to come together and tastes equally as fantastic. The sauce is made of all pantry staples.

If you can’t get your hands on fresh tuna, canned tuna or frozen ahi tuna works great too. If you’re looking for another ahi tuna recipe, be sure to check out our Ahi Tuna Poke Bowls!

What ingredients do you need for this seared ahi tuna recipe?

Sushi grade ahi tuna: We are using ahi tuna (ahi tuna steaks work best!) but you can use albacore tuna, yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna or even sashimi-grade salmon.

Sesame seeds: We are using a mix of black and white.

Sesame oil: To sear the sushi-grade tuna. But, you can use any neutral oil that is available to you, that has a high smoke point for this recipe.

For the toasted sesame dressing slash dipping sauce: We are using mayo, rice vinegar, soy sauce or coconut aminos and sesame oil. This is an easy and delicious dressing that pairs perfectly with this sesame ahi.

We are serving with: sliced scallions/green onions and in butter lettuce. But you can opt to serve with any of your favorite toppings!

Other ingredients you can add: You can add kosher salt and black pepper to your ahi tuna, as well if you want it more “peppered”. Minced garlic and ginger would also add a lot of flavor to your marinade or sauce.

If you’re looking for a ginger sauce, you can check out this seared tuna with a ginger ponzu dressing!

Seared Ahi Tuna Lettuce Wraps

How to make sesame seared ahi tuna

Start by making your dipping sauce

Make your sauce by mixing your sesame seeds, mayo, rice wine vinegar, coconut aminos, or soy sauce and sesame oil. Set aside.

Coat Your Ahi

Take your ahi and pat dry. Next, lather on sesame oil. On a plate, add and mix your sesame seeds to create a mixture, toss your ahi tuna in the sesame mixture.

Sear Your Ahi

In a skillet, pan or cast-iron skillet, heat sesame oil or any other neutral oil, like canola, avocado oil, vegetable or peanut oil, on medium-high heat. Once hot, add your sesame coated ahi tuna in and sear on all sides about 20 seconds on each side for a light sear (depending on thickness of ahi tuna). If you want it cooked a little further and still raw inside, go 45-55 seconds on each side.

Rest and Assemble!

Remove your seared tuna and let rest for 1-2 minutes on a paper towel to remove any excess oils. Next, thinly slice with a sharp knife and serve with green onions and sesame dressing in lettuce wraps, or over rice.

Seared Ahi Tuna

Tips, Tricks and Substitutions

What type of tuna can I use for seared ahi tuna? Any type of sashimi grade tuna such as bluefin tuna, albacore tuna, yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna or even sashimi-grade salmon.

Is seared ahi tuna raw? Yes, it is typically raw inside and cooked lightly on the outside. However, you can sear as much or little as you prefer to either cook it completely inside, or keep a medium to medium-rare (pink) center.

Can you eat ahi tuna pink? Yes! Just ensure you are getting sushi-grade, or sashimi-grade seafood and fish.

What do you serve seared ahi tuna with? You can serve it in lettuce cups, over a bed of rice and vegetables or even in a salad.

Seared Ahi Tuna with Toasted Sesame Dressing

Check out the below ahi tuna recipes for more inspiration!

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Seared Ahi Tuna with Toasted Sesame Dressing
5 from 6 votes

Seared Ahi Tuna with Toasted Sesame Dressing

Seared ahi tuna with this toasted sesame dressing is legit EVERYTHING. One of my favorite ahi tuna recipes.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients 

For The Seared Ahi Tuna

  • 1 pound sushi grade ahi tuna
  • 1/2 cup white toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 head of butter lettuce, rinsed and separated into cups, or white rice (optional for serving)

For Your Toasted Sesame Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Instructions 

  • Start by making your dipping sauce
    Make your sauce by mixing your sesame seeds, mayo, rice wine vinegar, coconut aminos, or soy sauce and sesame oil. Set aside.
  • Coat Your Ahi
    Take your ahi and pat dry. Next, lather on sesame oil. On a plate, add and mix your sesame seeds to create a mixture, toss your ahi tuna in the sesame mixture.
  • Sear Your Ahi
    In a skillet, pan or cast-iron skillet, heat sesame oil or any other neutral oil, like canola, avocado oil, vegetable or peanut oil, on medium-high heat. Once hot, add your sesame coated ahi tuna in and sear on all sides about 20 seconds on each side for a light sear (depending on thickness of ahi tuna). If you want it cooked a little further and still raw inside, go 45-55 seconds on each side.
  • Rest and Assemble!
    Remove your seared tuna and let rest for 1-2 minutes on a paper towel to remove any excess oils. Next, thinly slice with a sharp knife and serve with green onions and sesame dressing in lettuce wraps, or over rice.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 530kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 54g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 27g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 182mg, Potassium: 181mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 0.3g, Vitamin A: 22IU, Calcium: 368mg, Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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6 Comments

  1. Do you have a newsletter? If so, do you send out blog posts like these to your list? I would be interested in signing up if you do.

  2. I was really looking forward to this recipe and the flavor is good but the ahi I got doesn’t have the usual melt in your mouth quality. It’s a tad bit tough. Any tips on picking good tuna?

    1. Go to a fishmonger/location you trust and ask them for their freshest fish. Smell before purchase, should not have a fishy odor.

  3. 5 stars
    This came out great!! I loved the specific time to sear the tuna. I’m always anxious as to how long to keep it in the hot skillet. The sauce is great. It does call for some specific ingredients that I don’t typically have in my pantry. The 1st time I made it I used soy sauce. They I ordered the coconut aminos & I truly couldn’t tell the difference. In hindsight I wouldn’t order this product because this is the only recipe, I have that calls for it. Otherwise, I highly recommend. The 1st time I bought very expensive fresh tuna steaks. I bought my tuna at Sam’s the 2nd time, and it was great.