Make these restaurant quality Sesame Ginger Ahi Tuna steaks at home, and in minutes for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay at a restaurant!
I know a lot of people are intimidated by making fish at home. I’m constantly answering questions on how to cook fish perfectly. Sadly, I don’t have a great answer for you. It simply takes time and experimenting with cooking fish. Today, I’m going to share a little knowledge with you on how to cook ahi tuna at home.
My husband is an avid fisherman and this year alone he has caught two tuna! That means lots of tuna for us. We love ordering Ahi tuna steaks when we go out to eat. But since we rarely go out to eat any more I started cooking tuna at home. After a few attempts, I perfected cooking Ahi Tuna Steaks at home. The key is to make the sauce ahead of time and then season the tuna steaks well with salt and pepper. A hot pan to sear and only a few minutes if you want that beautiful red middle.
In this post you will learn the following information. Click on the links below to jump to learn more about what you are looking for!
- Ahi Tuna Steaks – Also known as yellowtail tuna. My steaks are close to a half pound each.
- Sesame seeds – You can use a mix of both white and black for the visual effect. However, if you can only find white then use white. They taste the same!
- Fresh ginger – I peel then grate the fresh ginger. This gives the perfect zip to this Ahi tuna sauce.
- Fresh garlic – I use a garlic press to press the cloves of garlic so that they are very much minced. I like very small pieces for the sauce for the tuna.
- Soy Sauce – I always use a low sodium soy sauce and prefer to use Tamari which is naturally gluten free.
- Brown sugar – balances out all the salt from the soy sauce.
Tuna steaks only need to be cooked for a few minutes.
First prepare your sauce in a bowl. Having the sauce prepared before you cook the steaks is key to making this dinner.
Next, preheat a skillet on high heat. I like to use a cast iron skillet. It should be screaming hot. While it preheats, rinse and pat dry your tuna. Season with salt and pepper.
Add oil to your cast iron skillet and place your tuna in the skillet. You will hear the crackling of the oil again the tuna and hear it searing. It should be smoking a lot! Don’t forget to put on your hood vent on high so you can avoid setting off the smoke alarms in your home!
Remember that sauce? During the last minute of cooking flip your tuna steak and pour half the sauce on top of the steaks. You will want to let the sauce cook into the steaks.
One the tuna has hit the 3 minute mark remove the fish from the cast iron skillet and place on a cutting board. Thinly slice pieces of the steak (or simply keep it whole).
Plate the fish and pour half the remaining additional sauce on top of the tuna steaks once they are plated. Finish the tuna steaks off by sprinkling with both black and white sesame seeds and dinner is served.
Yellowfin tuna is Ahi tuna. It’s just the name that everyone is more familiar with. This is the most common type of tuna you’ll find in the grocery stores. You can read all about different types of tuna here.
Always cut any meat and fish against the grain! You’ll want to use an extremely sharp knife. Slice the tuna fillet against the grain, and at a 25 degree angle. You’ll want your slices to be anywhere from ⅛, ¼, and no larger then ½ inch thick pieces. Do not saw at the fish with a knife. Your knife should be sharp enough to just put pressure on the fish, and drag your knife in one, long stroke.
Yes! In fact, my husband ate a slice of this very tuna fresh off the boat. Like anything–if you eat it raw it could contain harmful parasites. Make sure your tuna is extremely fresh and kept at proper temperature.
Raw fresh or frozen tuna should be a deep dark red to brown color. Consumers have been trained to think the freshest tuna is a bright pink/red. Some manufacturers will gas the tuna to give it that more desirable color. If your tuna is glowing in color and you did not freshly catch it run far away! This is also known as “tail pipe tuna” because it’s been gassed with harmful chemicals you in return will end up consuming.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few of the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way from my past and present experience cooking tuna.
- Dry your tuna off with a paper towel. Whenever you are searing meat you want it to be bone dry!
- Season with salt and pepper. Like anything especially when not marinated you need to season with salt and pepper.
- For a good sear you want the pan screaming hot! This also means you might set off the smoke detectors and you’ll need to work fast.
- Like I mentioned above to slice tuna you need a crazy sharp knife. Don’t make the mistake and use a serrated blade. Trust me, I’ve made that mistake for you! You should never saw through the tuna. Use a super sharper knife and it should glide right through the tuna!
Side Dishes the go with Tuna
Here are a few of my favorite side dishes to make with these ahi tuna steaks.
- Honey Sesame Green Beans
- Instant Pot Quinoa
- Emeril’s Broccoli and Cauliflower Stir-Fry
- Ginger Rice
- Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers
- Sesame Cucumber Salad
- Teriyaki Mushroom Bowls
These tuna steaks have been one of my quickest meals to get on the table to date. As long as kids are occupied I can have our entire dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes. If you love Ahi Tuna and want to enjoy it in the comfort of your own home I highly suggest you give his recipe for Ahi Tuna Steaks a try!
If you make this recipe, I would be honored and love for you to take the time to leave a ⭐ star rating and comment! I spend hours developing and testing these recipes, and always love to hear feedback and user experience!
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Sesame Ginger Ahi Tuna Steaks
- Frying Pan
- ¼ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 cloves Garlic pressed
- 1 tablespoon Ginger freshley grated
- 1 teaspoon White and Black Sesame Seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tuna Steaks (about ½ pounds each)
- 1 tablespoon Grapeseed Oil
- In a bowl mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, minced garlic, and ginger. Set to the side.
- Rinse and pat dry the tuna steaks. Season with salt and pepper to taste on both side.
- Heat a skillet to high heat with the grape seed oil. Place tuna steak in skillet (you should hear a searing sound). Cook 2 minutes, then flip.
- Spoon half the sauce into the pan during the last minute of cooking.
- Remove the tuna steaks and slice thin (or keep whole).
- Pour half the remaining sauce over the tuna steaks, and sprinkle with sesame seeds, dividing evenly. Enjoy.
- When searing tuna you want it the fish to be very dry with now water present on the fish.
- I like to use a cast iron frying pan and get it extremely hot. When the fish goes on the oiled pan it should start smoking and spraying oil everywhere. That’s how you know you are cooking this fish right.
- Find the sharpest knife you have to cut tuna against the grain.
- To make this recipe gluten free use Tamari which is a gluten free soy sauce.
Disclosure: There are affiliate links present in this post. That means if you click on a link and purchase something. I will receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continuous support of Katie’s Cucina!
Thank you Katie, just made this today! Took the time to buy several ingredients that were missing from my pantry. That sesame oil… love that!
Jon, so happy you enjoyed this recipe so much! Sesame oil is a great oil to have in your cabinet to add additional flavor in so many dishes!
This was fast & easy to prepare using thawed frozen tuna filets. I made your cucumber salad & gingered rice as side dishes. I will definitely make this again.
Angela, thank you for taking the time to leave a 5 star comment. I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe as much as I do!
Awesome delicious recipe! Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve cooked it several times now and everyone loves it!
Andy, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a 5 star comment! I’m so happy you and everyone you cook this for loves this recipe.
The tuna and dipping sauce were a hit with my family last night. I served it with steamed dumplings and roasted green beans and eggplant. The dipping sauce made the dish.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a 5 star comment on this recipe. I’m so happy you and your family loved this recipe as much as I do!
I’ve always been a bit nervous about cooking seared Ahi tuna. I tried it today and it was a success thanks to this recipe. My daughter who’s a picky eater even liked it. I used frozen ahi tuna fillets from Aldi but next time I cook this, I’m going to the wharf to get fresh fish.
Ebonee, Thank you for taking the time to leave a 5 star comment. So so happy you found this recipe not only easy but delicious!!!
Thank you for posting!! This was delicious!
Jane- thank you for taking the time to leave a 5-star comment. I’m so happy you loved this recipe.
This recipe was a winner first time having and preparing ahi tuna and this was delicious .
Erika, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a 5-star review! I’m so happy you found this recipe helpful!
The tuna was great. The sauce burned instantly when poured into the hot pan. The next time I make it I will omit that step, heat the sauce in the microwave.and pour it over the tuna before serving.
Hi, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review. I’m sorry your sauce burnt immediately.Thank you for leaving the helpful tip for others! I’ll have to retest with this method!
Thank you, this was awesome on our tuna steak .marysue
Hi Mary, thank you so much for taking the time to rate and leave a comment! This is our go-to tuna recipe in my house.
I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! My picky eater who is 5 years old loved this. I served over white rice with some lemon garlic asparagus on the side – all paired nicely. If I made this in the future I will make a little extra sauce. I used 2 Tuna steaks, but one was pretty big (probably was more like 3 Tuna steads) – also the sauce mixed good with the rice. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Hi Ashley! This makes me so happy to hear! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!
Hi Katie, looking forward to trying your recipe for the Tuna. Have I missed the recipe for your Honey Ginger Green Beans?
Hi Rick! Thank you for reaching out. I forgot to add the link back into the post, but just for you I updated the post with my Honey Sesame Green Beans recipe and a few other side dishes that pair well!
Do you think this would taste ok with fresh minced ginger?
Hi, yes I think so–just finely mince or even grate the fresh ginger! 🙂
I prepared this tonight and it was so delicious! I’m amazed that for my first try this was better than any Ahi I’ve ever had in a restaurant, We’re really impressed! Thanks for giving me the courage to try it on my own!
Hi Janet, thank you so much for taking the time to leave feedback! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe.
This was so easy and tasty. First time making tuna and it came out great. I had to put the remaining sauce over heat before serving to melt the sugar. I also think if you want to be healthier you can do half the amount of sesame oil, because the sauce is certainly oily, but not in a yucky way. I served this over spinach, chickpeas, and sprouts, and it was very healthy and delicious.
Hi Anna, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe! Sounds like you made a delicious meal.
This is a such a easy recipe. I recently made it with Salmon (it was lovely) as I did not have Tuna in the house.
Hi Loriann, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I’m glad you enjoyed it!
How many steaks is this recipe for? 🙂
I made 2 tuna steaks with this recipe. Happy Cooking!
I made this for guests tonight and everyone raved about how delicious it was! It truly takes only moments to prepare, but tastes like something from a nice restaurant. I’m so glad to have found this recipe and I’m sure I’ll be making it many times in the future. Thank you for sharing it!
Yvonne, I’m so glad you and your guest enjoyed this recipe! Yes–ahi tuna can be intimidating to make yet so easy!!!