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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 is even better when made fresh at home.

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
Our easy directions for this ahi tuna recipe will ensure a perfect sear every time.

How To Sear Ahi Tuna Perfectly

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:

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

seared ahi tuna

Marinated Seared Ahi Tuna

4.98 from 175 ratings
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 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Amy Dong


For the Marinade

For Ahi Tuna

  • 2 ½ pounds fresh ahi tuna steaks, about 1 1/2-1 2/3 inches thick
  • 3 TB canola or vegetable oil, for searing
  • Optional: freshly chopped cilantro, green scallions, sesame seeds for garnish.
  • Optional: Sriracha mayo for drizzling, really good!


  • In a bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients to make the 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, up to overnight; turn fish over at least once in the middle of marinade time.
  • Heat 3 TB oil in a large heavy skillet – use aluminum or stainless steel; not nonstick, as it won't sear – 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.)
  • 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.
  • Serve chilled or at room temp. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro or green onions, if desired. Drizzle with Sriracha mayo if desired.
    marinated seared ahi tuna


  • If marinading the ahi overnight and you’re concerned about ahi tuna steaks being “cooked” in acidity, you can choose to add lemon juice 1-2 hours prior to cooking. 
  • Seared ahi is best eaten on same day. However, leftovers can be tightly wrapped and chilled for up to 1 day.
  • 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 (per serving)

Serving: 1g | Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.7g | Protein: 36.6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1.6g | Cholesterol: 63.5mg | Sodium: 922.4mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 3.8g
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Asian American
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: Stovetop

Add a comment

Recipe Rating


    • silvia
    • 5 stars

    This tuna was so flavorful. The recipe is very easy to follow and the marinade was so good. I already had a salad at home but next time I’m going to serve it with your suggestion, crispy Asian salad.

    • GUNJAN C Dudani
    • 5 stars

    looks so pretty and so good. I am so excited to make this for my brother who loves tuna.

    • Sharon
    • 5 stars

    This seared ahi tuna recipe comes out even better than the one I get at my favorite restaurant. Delicious!

    • Jere Cassidy
    • 5 stars

    The last time I cooked tuna I did cook it all the way through and was asked never to make it again. So glad to find your recipe to make it the right way.

      • chewoutloud

      So happy you found this, Jere!

    • Veronika Sykorova
    • 5 stars

    This tuna looks amazing! I love all clad too, it creates the perfect sear!

    • Colleen
    • 5 stars

    We love seared ahi, but we only ever had it at restaurants. When a craving hit, I searched for a recipe and found yours. I’m so happy I did! We loved it and will make it again.

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, Colleen! Thank you 🙂

    • Allyssa
    • 5 stars

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing marinated seared recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!

      • chewoutloud

      So happy you all loved it!

    • Andy
    • 5 stars

    Delicious! Marinade was fantastic and great advice on cooking the tuna steaks.

    • Lauren
    • 5 stars

    we LOVE THIS recipe. I’ve been searing Ahi a couple times a month, and this has become one of the family favorites.

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, that’s awesome to hear!

    • Teresa
    • 4 stars


    • Alkaline
    • 5 stars

    I made this tuna steak recipe for the first time and let me tell you is my new favorite the only thing I did different was I used Dominican soy sauce I didn’t have regular soy sauce but it was delicious thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Elise
    • 5 stars

    Make tuna all the time, this marinade really kicked it up a notch+! Thanks ♡

      • chewoutloud

      So glad to hear that, Elise!

    • Katie
    • 5 stars

    I would have given this 100 stars! I love ahi tuna, but I have never tasted anything nearly as amazing as this!
    I could eat this every day!

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, super happy to hear you guys enjoyed this, Katie!

    • chad

    omg this looks soooo good!!! I remember I had seared Ahi years ago in a restaurant and loved it!!! I am def making it this week.


    Looks so yummy! Looking forward to try this great recipe very soon

    • Amanda

    Yum! That looks amazing. I may have to add this to my menu this week 🙂

    • Jackline A

    Mmm that looks very yummy. Thank you for your recipe.

    • Olufunke Kolapo

    This is so tempting. I think I might try it too.

    • WorldInEyes

    Oh wow it looks so delicious and tasty..Will love to try this at home..Am sure i will definitely love this..Thanks for sharing this recipe…Great work…

    • My Kitchen

    It’s my first time hearing about this recipe but it looks delicious and inviting so I’ll try it some day.

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