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Marinated Seared Ahi Tuna

Here’s the most amazing Marinated Seared Ahi Tuna you can make at home! It’s bursting with flavor, super easy to make, and fantastic as an appetizer or healthy dinner.

Marinated Seared Ahi Tuna with Spicy Mayo
Seared Ahi Tuna with Sriracha Mayo Sauce

Marinated Seared Ahi Tuna

We’re so pumped about today’s recipe because it is one of our tried-and-true favorites for all the protein-packed, healthy, and flavorful meals .

It’s time to spotlight this tasty, fast, and easy marinated seared ahi tuna recipe. If you thought seared ahi tuna sounded like a tantalizing menu item (it is) that only restaurant chefs could make (it’s not)… you’re about to discover how simple it is for you to make in your own kitchen.

By the way, if any of your eaters prefer their fish fully cooked, feel free to mosey on over to this delicious lemon butter fish or this Asian steamed fish for them.

Otherwise, get ready to reel in your own better-than-restaurant seared ahi tuna…

seared ahi tuna sliced on cutting board
Easy directions for perfectly seared ahi tun

Technique: How to Get A Perfect Sear at Home

Nothing compares to a fresh, beautiful ahi tuna steak, marinated thoroughly and seared to perfection from your own kitchen. When doing it yourself, there’s no worries about being served over-cooked (and thus, tough) ahi tuna. Plus, you’ll ensure that every bite of your fresh ahi is well seasoned — nothing bland here.

  • Use a heavy, large aluminum or stainless steel skillet; forgo nonstick pans here. We’ve used our faithful All Clad stainless steel skillet for many, many years, and it continues to serve us well. It’s a heavy duty work horse in the kitchen and is meant to last a lifetime.
  • Get your cooking oil smoking hot (we mean hot) prior to laying down the tuna. It’s the sizzling hot oil that will give you a perfect sear.
  • Once the fish is on the pan, don’t keep moving it around. Sometimes we stir and sauté, and sometimes we just let it rest on the pan. This is a let-it-rest situation.
  • Don’t overcook the ahi. You’ll only need about 1 1/2 minutes per side, for ahi steaks that are between 1-2 inches thick. Remember, it will continue to cook a bit more while resting on the cutting board, so you’ll want to carefully manage the minutes your tuna sits on the pan.
Seared ahi tuna sliced on plate
Slice seared ahi tuna thinly across the grain

What to serve with seared ahi tuna

It’s easy to pair your perfectly seared tuna with healthy side dishes, for a well-rounded meal:

  • Try serving seared ahi tuna with Perfect Brown Rice in place of white rice, for whole-grain goodness and nutty flavor.
  • Asian Rice Salad combines a simple rice medley with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, topped with a tantalizing dressing.
  • Our Crunchy Asian Cabbage Ramen Salad is hands-down a favorite dish of all our friends and family. It’s crispy, delicious, and can be mostly prepared in advance.

Bonus: Wine Pairing

If you’re so inclined, enjoy your perfectly seared ahi with the perfect wine pairing. This Asian style ahi with sesame-soy flavors is crazy good with a quality Riesling.

A crisp, slightly sweet riesling is the prime wine pairing for your next backyard gathering, date night on the deck, or whatever excuse you can think of to make the combo happen.

marinated seared ahi tuna
Seared Ahi Tuna tastes amazing with spicy mayo sauce

Common Questions and Answers

Is it safe to eat seared ahi tuna?

Ahi tuna is almost always served raw in the middle, so it’s safest to use high quality, sushi-grade (or grade 1) ahi from a reputable seller. The fish market or counter should be able to answer any questions you have about the quality/source of their ahi tuna.

Can you cook ahi tuna until it’s fully cooked?

Technically, you can serve fully cooked ahi tuna, but it will taste completely different from seared ahi tuna. Tuna that has been cooked all the way through tends to be more like canned tuna; dry and flaky. Pan-seared is generally considered the best way to cook ahi tuna.

How do you know when ahi tuna is done cooking?

It’s important to ensure your ahi tuna is not overcooked, as overcooking creates an unpalatable texture that’s chewy and dry. For ahi tuna steaks that are at least 1 1/2 inches thick, we recommend searing on high heat for 1 1/2 minutes per side. For thinner tuna steaks, sear only 1 minute per side.


seared ahi Tuna, In action:


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Marinated Seared Ahi Tuna

5 from 26 reviews

Here’s the most amazing Marinated Seared Ahi you can make at home! It’s bursting with flavor, super easy to make, and fantastic as an appetizer or healthy dinner.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 mins
  • Total Time: 12 mins

Yield: 6

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 TB regular strength soy sauce
  • 2 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 TB Asian toasted sesame oil (found in the Asian aisle)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 to 21/2 lbs fresh ahi tuna steaks, about 1 1/2-1 2/3 inches thick
  • oil for cooking
  • Optional: freshly chopped cilantro, green scallions, sesame seeds for garnish.
  • Optional: Sriracha mayo for drizzling (really good!)

Instructions

  1. Marinade: In a bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients to make a marinade. Towel dry tuna steaks and place in a glass or ceramic dish. Pour marinade over the fish, turning to coat well throughout. Cover tightly and chill several hours to overnight; turn fish over at least once in the middle of marinade time.
  2. Sear: Heat 3 TB oil in a large heavy skillet (aluminum or stainless steel; not nonstick) until oil is smoking. Sear ahi steaks 1 1/2 minutes per side on high heat, taking care to flip carefully with a flat, steel spatula. (If your tuna is less than 1 1/2 inches thick, sear for only 1 minute per side.)
  3. Rest/Cool: Transfer seared ahi to a large cutting board and let rest/cool 10 minutes. Use a very sharp (serrated works well) knife to slice thinly across the grain.
  4. Serve: Serve chilled or at room temp, over your favorite salad greens or crispy Asian salad. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro or green onions, if desired. Drizzle with Sriracha mayo if desired.

marinated seared ahi tuna

Notes

Seared ahi is best eaten on same day. However, leftovers can be tightly wrapped and chilled for up to 1 day.
A good quality Riesling is superb with this dish!

For lower sodium version, use reduced sodium soy sauce

To keep dish gluten-free, double check that your soy sauce is labeled gluten-free. Our favorite gluten-free soy sauce is Tamari

If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating 🙂 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 246
  • Sugar: 3.8 g
  • Sodium: 922.4 mg
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.7 g
  • Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 36.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 63.5 mg
  • Author: Amy | Chew Out Loud
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: seared ahi, ahi recipe, ahi tuna

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Recipe rating

87 comments

    • Jill

    I scored a 10 for this today. We loved…loved…loved this. He was worried when I told him I was marinating the tuna but afterwards he said it’d be hard to top this and the Crunchy Asian Cabbage Ramen recipe…also from this site!

    • Laura

    Making this a second time as main course. I seared on the grill last time. Flavors are amazing. It’s a keeper!

    • Ronna

    This marinade is a winner! I have served this dish multiple times and to multiple different groups of people and it’s always a favorite. Delicious and easy and impressive all in one! Thank you.

    • RACHEL A HORNER

    Making the dish now, but substituted Coco Aminos for soy sauce due to allergies. The marinade leftovers went well with grilled veggies and would make a great cabbage salad dressing. Thanks so much for the recipe!!! https://www.instagram.com/chewoutloud/

    • Deb

    This is the best marinade for ahi tuna. Simple yet flavorful. I also add a little fresh grated ginger & fresh garlic. Get that oil smoking hot is the key before searing the steaks. Perfect every time! Sriracha mixed in mayo is the perfect dip for it! Thank you!

      • Amy Dong

      So happy you love this, Deb!

    • LaWanna Starks

    Love This!!!! I have made it repeatedly and it always is delicious

      • Amy Dong

      Yay, so happy you love this!

    • Loreto and Nicoletta Nardelli

    I’ve only thought of ordering ahi tuna at a restaurant, but now with your recipe and instructions, I feel like we can make it at home. Looks fantastic!

    • Moop Brown

    This tuna looks really taste and I love the suggestions you offered for things to serve with it. Thanks

    • Jamie R

    Absolutely delish! I coated in sesame seeds before searing, used fresh garlic instead of powder, omitted sugar, added grated ginger.

      • chewoutloud

      Great job, Jamie!

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