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Six-Minute Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks | Family Cuisine

This is a recipe for how to fry tuna steaks. The cooking method is called pan-frying and it's a great way to enjoy the flavor of tuna without having to overdo it on the calories. To make this dish,
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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.

A plate with seared ahi tuna steak, chopsticks, a lime wedge, and scallions.

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.

So true that we’ve made these Six-Minute Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks twice in the past two weeks and fully plan on doing it again this coming week.

As you may have guessed from the title, this recipe only takes about six minutes, and it’s absolutely mouthwateringly delicious. And healthy. And EASY! What more could you want?

Fish in any form usually cooks up extremely quickly. Maybe that’s why I have so many salmon recipes on the blog. Like this Seared Salmon with Scallion Butter, and this 15-minute Poached Salmon with Chive Butter. And this Mandarin Orange Glazed Salmon!

Salmon is usually my go-to for fish, since it’s outrageously delicious and amazingly healthy.

But when I was at the grocery store the other day and saw these gorgeous ahi tuna steaks for $5 (that’s only $2.50 each!), I couldn’t resist.

What is Ahi Tuna?

Ahi tuna is type of tuna that is divided into two different species: yellowfin and bigeye. And it’s often cheaper than bluefin tuna, 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).

A 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 beef steak in this regard. It. Is. AMAZING.

Ahi tuna steaks marinating and seared to medium rare in a nonstick skillet.

Is it safe to eat raw ahi tuna?

If you’re nervous about eating raw fish, you should use your best judgement. You can always choose to cook these ahi tuna steaks all the way through to be well-done.

But tuna steaks are usually served seared on the outside and raw on the inside. Look up any seared ahi tuna recipe and you will see that it is almost always cooked this way. If you order it a restaurant, it’s bound to be cooked medium-rare as well.

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.

Plus, many of the bacteria that makes raw foods more risky to eat is usually found on the surface of the foods. If you sear the outside, as in this recipe, you’re killing off the bacteria that may make you sick. Same goes for a good seared steak.

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.

Let it rest for a few minutes, slice, and you’re ready!

Ahi tuna steaks cut into slices on a cutting board

What to serve with ahi tuna

I like sprinkling some sliced green onions on top of the sliced ahi tuna, along with some toasted sesame seeds and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

It’s DELICIOUS served in a rice bowl with green beans or broccoli and a drizzle of spicy mayo or other sauce.

Or, for a super healthy and low-carb meal, serve it on a bed of greens with an Asian-style dressing. (We used this soy-ginger one that was fabulous!).

Alternatively, this would be great in a seared tuna poke bowl. Poke bowls are usually made with raw fish, but I think this fish, seared perhaps for a little less time than normal, cut up into cubes, would be excellent in a poke bowl.

I think this sliced tuna steak would be amazing on top of avocado toast, too!

How to thaw frozen fish

I bought my ahi tuna steaks frozen, but you may be able to find fresh. If you use frozen, just make sure it’s completely defrosted before cooking.

I usually take mine out of the vacuum sealed plastic and leave it on a plate, covered in plastic wrap, in the fridge for 24 hours before I plan on cooking. Then, I make sure to pat them dry before cooking, as this will create a better sear.

A close up photo of a seared ahi tuna steak

Other easy fish recipes

  • Four-Ingredient Southern Style Oven Fried Catfish
  • Garlic Butter Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies
  • New England Baked Haddock
  • 10-Minute Blackened Tilapia with Avocado Cucumber Salsa
  • Pan Fried Sea Bass with Lemon Garlic Herb Sauce

Love how quick and easy seafood is? Check out all my seafood recipes!

Did you make this Seared Ahi Tuna Steak Recipe? Please comment below and Rate this Recipe!

This recipe first appeared on Bowl of Delicious in November 2015. The recipe has been modified to be even more delicious, and the post updated with more pertinent information and new photos. See recipe notes for original recipe ingredients.

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