These Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks (also known as yellowfin or bigeye tuna) take only SIX MINUTES to cook to medium-rare perfection and are bursting with delicious umami flavor from the soy sauce and toasted sesame honey marinade recipe! And since marinating is optional, you can whip this tuna steak recipe up at a moment’s notice. I like serving these seared tuna steaks with rice and green beans or simply over a bed of greens with an Asian-style salad dressing.
If I can get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes, I’m a happy camper. Under 20? Even better. But under TEN? It’s almost too good to be true! But this one is DEFINITELY true.
WHAT IS AHI TUNA?
Ahi tuna is a type of tuna that is divided into two different species: yellowfin and bigeye. And it’s often cheaper than bluefin ahi tuna price, with a very similar flavor profile and texture. You can usually find it frozen at Trader Joe’s or your local grocery store for very inexpensive.
While I love salmon, it can be a bit pricey. And tuna, like salmon, is healthy and has an array of serious health benefits (including being high in Omega-3s and vitamin B12).
Seared tuna steak is a bit different than the canned tuna everyone is used to. For one thing: it comes in a whole, beautiful raw steak that holds its form much easier than other kinds of fish, which may tend to flake apart.
For another thing: it is usually cooked medium-rare: seared on the outside, red on the inside.
It actually looks very similar to a beefsteak in this regard. It. Is. AMAZING.
IS IT SAFE TO EAT RAW AHI TUNA?
If you’re nervous about eating raw fish, you should use your best judgment. You can always choose to cook these ahi tuna steaks all the way through to be well-done.
I’d recommend getting over your fears and jumping on this bandwagon (unless you’re pregnant or have another medical reason not to consume raw fish). Fully cooked tuna can be a bit dry (like its canned counterpart), but when the outside is a crispy, salty, savory layer and the inside is a supple, soft, tender layer, it enhances the taste so much and the texture is amazing.
HOW TO SEAR THE TUNA STEAKS
The fact that the tuna is served medium-rare accounts for its extremely fast cooking time. Just marinate the tuna in a mixture of soy sauce, oil, salt, and pepper (with some cayenne for some heat, if you want) preferably for at least ten minutes, or overnight.
For a typical ahi tuna steak (about 1.5″ thick), sear on each side for about two minutes (less time for rare; more time for medium). I recommend using a nonstick skillet for this, or a very well seasoned cast iron skillet (fish has a tendency to stick, and you don’t want to risk the beautiful seared outer layer sticking to the pan!).
Also, it’s important to get the pan SEARING hot before adding the fish. You want the outside to cook very quickly while leaving the inside raw, so it should be as hot as possible before beginning to sear. I usually heat the pan for 3-5 minutes.