Seared Ahi Tuna

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Ahi Tuna is a restaurant favorite that’s easier to make at home than you think! It’s quick and healthy – great for something a little different on a weeknight.

If you love seafood, try this Shrimp CocktailBrown Butter Lemon SalmonBaked Sesame Teriyaki Salmon, or these Easiest Crab Cakes.

seared ahi tuna cut up and plated

Ahi Tuna Recipe

Hi everyone! Natasha here from Salt & Lavender. I hope your 2020 is getting off to a great start. I’m so happy that January is now over! I think most people can relate. I’ve been craving fresh and healthier foods lately, and this easy ahi tuna recipe definitely fits the bill. If you’re a fish or sushi fan or you’re just curious about how to make this gorgeous fish, you should give it a try!

I gave an Asian-inspired spin to this recipe with the dipping sauce and sesame seeds. I hope you’ll love it!

What is ahi tuna?

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are both marketed as ahi tuna. You can buy them as “steaks” – I recommend buying ones that are about 0.75″-1″ thick for this recipe. You can buy frozen tuna steaks from most quality grocery stores and thaw them in the fridge, or try going to a fish market and getting fresh ones.

raw ahi tuna steaks

How to cook ahi tuna steaks

  1. Prepare the sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and fresh ginger;
  2. Season both sides of the tuna steaks with salt & pepper;
  3. Sear them in a VERY hot skillet for 45 sec – 1 minute per side;
  4. Serve them with the suggested scallions, sauce, and sesame seeds.

So easy!

ahi tuna in a skillet

Why is ahi tuna cooked to rare?

This variety of fish should not be overcooked because it will dry out and not taste as good. Searing the outside kills bacteria, but you should always ensure that you’re using sushi-grade fish since the middle is left raw. If you prefer to cook it more medium-rare, add on an extra 30 seconds or so per side, but watch it carefully – once you overcook it, you can’t go back.

What to serve with ahi tuna

You can use the suggested sauce, sesame seeds, and scallions, or keep it simple and eat it by itself (or dip it in soy sauce). It’s also delicious added to salads. Rice goes fabulously with it as well.

More tuna recipes you’ll love:

ahi tuna recipe

seared ahi tuna cut up and plated

Seared Ahi Tuna

5 from 1 vote
Ahi Tuna is a restaurant favorite that's easier to make at home than you think! It's quick and healthy - great for something a little different on a weeknight.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Natasha Bull
Servings: 2


  • 2 ahi tuna steaks
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)
  • Sesame seeds (optional, to taste)
  • Chopped scallions (optional, to taste)



  • Add the sauce ingredients to a small bowl and mix together. Give it a taste and adjust ingredients if needed. Set aside.
  • Season both sides of the tuna steaks with salt & pepper.
  • Add the oil to a skillet over medium-high heat (or even hotter) and let the pan get very hot (oil should be smoking a bit). Sear the tuna for 45 sec - 1 minute per side.
  • Slice the tuna and serve it with the sauce, sesame seeds sprinkled over top, and chopped scallions.


  • My ahi tuna steaks were about 1" thick and I cooked them for 1 minute/side. 
  • Be sure to use sushi-grade ahi tuna for taste and food safety reasons.
  • I like to keep fresh ginger in the freezer because it's easier to grate, and I always have some on-hand that way.


Serves: 2

Calories416kcal (21%)Carbohydrates8g (3%)Protein42g (84%)Fat23g (35%)Saturated Fat4g (20%)Cholesterol65mg (22%)Sodium1331mg (55%)Potassium486mg (14%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar5g (6%)Vitamin A3711IU (74%)Calcium19mg (2%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian American
Keyword ahi tuna recipe, ahi tuna steaks, seared ahi tuna
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Natasha Bull

Natasha Bull is the blogger behind Salt & Lavender. She loves to share quick, easy, and delicious dinner recipes. When she’s not in the kitchen, Natasha enjoys traveling to warmer climates (she calls Canada home).

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