Sesame seared tuna is an incredible dish that’s light, delicious, and easy to make. With a beautifully seared crust on the outside but a “meaty” and almost “buttery” inside, this dish with give your mouth an explosion of delicious textures. If you’ve never had this dish before, it is a must try!
What type of tuna should I use?
Definitely not canned tuna! I’m sure you already knew that though. You are going to want to get a tuna steak that is preferably sushi grade (see my ceviche post for more information on sushi grade fish). Since we will be searing the tuna, it won’t be fully raw but I still always recommend sushi grade when dealing with undercooked fish.
How do I prep the tuna?
The first thing that you are going to want to do is take your tuna out of the fridge and pat it dry with a paper towel. Patting the outside dry will aid in giving the tuna a nice crust once we sear it. Next, you should coat all sides with soy sauce or coconut aminos. This will help give flavor but is mainly being used as a binder for our spices that we will be combining next…
What should I use for spices?
Sesame seeds are of course a big one – it’d be pretty tough to make sesame seared tuna without sesame seeds! They can come in a variation of different colors but whatever is available to you will work fine. I typically can only find black sesame seeds. The remaining seasonings that I like to add to the sesame seeds are:
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Sugar – this helps caramelize the crust
Alternatively, you could use our BPS Rub which will work really well with the sesame seeds for this recipe. Just combine all of these seasonings together and cover all sides of the tuna. Make sure to press it into the tuna – as mentioned before, the soy sauce will also aid in helping the seasonings stick.
Make sure to preheat your pan!
When it’s time to cook, you will first want to preheat a pan on medium-high heat. If you have a grill with a flat surface (ex: Kamado Joe’s soapstone) then you can certainly do this recipe on a grill. Either way, your pan or flat surface will need to be ripping HOT! This is key! A good way to see if your pan is hot enough is to put a drop of water on it – if the water immediately sizzles then you’re ready to go. The goal here is to just sear the outside and create a beautiful crust on the tuna.
The actually cooking process only takes 2-3 minutes. Once your pan is hot enough, add some sesame oil to the pan. Carefully place the tuna on the pan and press it down with a spatula or fish spatula for a few seconds to help get an even better sear. Cook until the bottom side is golden brown. This will take ~60 seconds but could take a little more or less depending on how hot your pan is. Flip your tuna and sear the second side for another ~60 seconds. Once you are satisfied with your crust (don’t forget to sear the edges as well), remove from pan, thinly slice, and viola: your sesame seared tuna is done!
We did it!
Sesame seared tuna really is that easy to make. It’s quick, easy, and most certainly delicious. As an avid fan of eating raw or undercooked fish (100% my preferred way of eating fish), this recipe is ideal for someone that loves sushi but may not want their fish to be fully raw. Give this one a shot – it’s perfect for anyone craving a great seafood dish that does not require much effort. Please leave some comments below, I’d love to hear you thoughts.
Sesame Seared Tuna
- 1 lb Tuna sushi grade recommended
- Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos to use as a binder
- 3 tbsp Sesame Seeds
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp Sesame Oil other types of cooking oils will work too
- Mix the sesame seeds, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar together in a bowl.
- Pat the tuna dry with paper towels. Coat all sides of the tuna with soy sauce or coconut aminos (to use as a binder) and then cover with the sesame mixture.
- Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Take time to let the pan get very HOT. A good way to check if your pan is hot is by adding a splash of water to it – if the water immediately sizzles loudly, your pan is hot enough.
- When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil to the pan. Add the tuna to the pan and press down for a few seconds (this will help build a crust). Sear until golden brown, usually around 60 seconds but I recommend carefully checking around 45 seconds. Flip and sear until the second side is golden brown, usually around another 60 seconds. It may take a little longer to brown each side, depending on how hot your pan is.
- Once you are satisfied with the tuna's crust, remove it from the pan. Thinly slice the tuna and serve with sushi rice, wasabi, ginger, broccoli, avocado, or anything that you would like.