Shoyu Ahi Tuna Tataki

5 from 1 vote

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This shoyu ahi tuna tataki is the perfect simple recipe. A 15-second sear on each sides of the ahi, rolled in sesame seeds and then thinly sliced. Topped with green onions and served with a shoyu and sesame dipping sauce, this dish is simple, yet has so much flavor.

What is tataki?

Tataki is a popular Japanese tecnique of sushi-grade fish (sometimes pre-marinated), quickly seared and thinly sliced, remaining raw in the center. Unlike sashimi, that is served raw, and not seared. You can do this with other types of ingredients, like beef as well. 

What ingredients do you need for this ahi tataki?

Sashimi Grade Tuna: For our tuna, we’ll be using sushi-grade ahi tuna. You can also use any other type of sashimi grade fish, like salmon, albacore, or yellowtail.

White and Black Sesame Seeds: For searing our crust, we’ll be using a combination of white and black sesame seeds. Not only does it have such a textural element to our seared ahi, but it also adds a nice flavor complexity, adding a nutty flavor. Not to mention the combination of both is visually really pretty!

Shoyu: Shoyu, a type of Japanese soy sauce, works perfect with our seared fish.

Rice Vinegar: To balance out the saltniess of the shoyu, adding in vinegar helps to add some acidity to this recipe.

Instructions to make this recipe

Season your ahi with sesame seeds 

On a plate, toss together your white and black sesame seeds. Roll your ahi tuna in the sesame seed mixture on all sides.

Sear your ahi tuna

Heat a pan on medium-high heat with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Place your sesame ahi in the skillet, and sear for about 15 to 20 seconds on each side, keeping medium rare on the inside, making sure you don’t burn your sesame seeds either. Remove and transfer immediately to a cutting board.

Let your ahi rest for at least 5 minutes, and then thinly slice using a very sharp knife into ¼-inch slices, you want it pretty thinly sliced. 

Make your sauce

While your ahi is resting, make your sauce. In a small serving bowl, toss together soy sauce, chili flakes, vinegar, and black pepper. 

Serve

Transfer your sliced ahi onto a platter, placing your sauce on the plate for dipping. You can also go ahead and pour the sauce mixture over the ahi directly. Top with thinly sliced scallions.

Tips, Tricks and Substitutions

Is tataki raw of cooked?

Tataki is just lightly seared, leaving the center raw! So technically, both. 

Is there a substitute for shoyu in this recipe?

If you can’t find shoyu, feel free to substitute with any soy sauce you have available to you. Other sauces like ponzu sauce, will also work well here.

Are there other ingredients or flavors that may be god with this tuna tataki?

You can add minced fresh ginger, garlic, or even citrus (orange juice, or lemon juice) to finsih off the tataki as well. 

More of our favorite fish recipes

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Ahi Tuna Tataki
5 from 1 vote

Shoyu Ahi Tuna Tataki

This shoyu ahi tuna tataki is the perfect simple recipe. A 15-second sear on each sides of the ahi, rolled in sesame seeds.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1 pound sushi grade ahi tuna
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon shoyu or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, for garnish

Instructions 

  • On a plate, toss together your white and black sesame seeds. Roll your ahi tuna in the sesame seed mixture on all sides.
  • Heat a pan on medium-high heat with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Place your sesame ahi in the skillet, and sear for about 15 to 20 seconds on each side, keeping medium rare on the inside, making sure you don’t burn your sesame seeds either. Remove and transfer immediately to a cutting board.
  • Let your ahi rest for at least 5 minutes, and then thinly slice into ¼-inch slices, you want it pretty thinly sliced.
  • While your ahi is resting, make your sauce. In a small serving bowl, toss together soy sauce, chili flakes, vinegar, and black pepper.
  • Transfer your sliced ahi onto a platter, placing your sauce on the plate for dipping. You can also go ahead and pour the sauce mixture over the ahi directly. Top with thinly sliced scallions.

Nutrition

Calories: 109kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 6mg, Potassium: 93mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 76IU, Vitamin C: 0.003mg, Calcium: 184mg, Iron: 3mg

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

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7 Comments

    1. Hi Laurie! Yes, you can make ahead and serve cold. The color on the ahi may turn into a darker color by prepping ahead, but it will still taste the same.

      1. Hi Lindsey,
        Your directions say, ” mixing soy sauce, shoyu, chili flakes, rice wine vinegar and salt and pepper.” and not (or soy sauce) as you typed in your reply to Nicole. So, are you saying we do not need both?

        Also, do you have the nutritional and servings info?
        Thanks so much!

  1. Hi Lindsey,
    Your directions say, ” mixing soy sauce, shoyu, chili flakes, rice wine vinegar and salt and pepper.” and not (or soy sauce) as you typed in your reply to Nicole. So, are you saying we do not need both?

    Also, do you have the nutritional and servings info?
    Thanks so much!