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Seared ahi tuna is a quick and nutrition dinner recipe! Here’s how to sear tuna. serve with leftover veggies and rice.
Here’s a secret: there’s nothing quite like seared tuna as an easy dinner idea! Seared ahi tuna is tender, meaty, and it cooks in less than 5 minutes. Put it together with leftover veggies or rice and you’ve got one seriously dinner. We’ve been enjoying this for years, so we felt like it was high time to share this 3 ingredient quick dinner trick! Here’s how to whip up seared tuna.
How to sear tuna
If you’ve never had ahi tuna, it’s time to start. Seared ahi tuna tastes meaty, not fishy: in fact, it tastes more like a piece of steak than fish! It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to convince someone ambivalent about seafood. The flavor is salty savory on the outside and buttery tender on the inside. It’s also loaded with protein, omega 3’s and other vitamins (source). Here’s how to sear tun:
- Allow it to come to room temperature first! This step is important: otherwise the inside of the fish will still be cold when the exterior is cooked! Allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes prior to cooking.
- Season it liberally. Coat it with salt and pepper, as shown in the photo below. We use about ¾ teaspoon for every 8 ounces.
- Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, and use a food thermometer to assess temperature (130°F). Add the steak and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned on the outside but still rare the inside. The tuna will continue to cook while sitting. For a medium-rare tuna steak, the internal temperature should be 130°F when measured with a food thermometer at the thickest point.
- Rest for 2 minutes. This helps it to set and become easier to cut.
What tuna to buy for seared ahi tuna?
When shopping for ahi tuna, here’s what to keep in mind:
- Look at your local fish counter for a tuna steak that has a firm texture and a bright red color.
- Fish that’s sushi-grade or sashimi grade is highest quality if you can find and afford it. There are no specific regulations around the label sushi-grade, but it means it’s high quality fish that is safe to be eaten raw. (Read more here.)
- You can also use frozen. Alex and I were able to find frozen sashimi grade ahi tuna at our local grocery store. It was sold in a little box and intended for making sushi or sashimi at home. but it is perfect for making seared ahi tuna! If you buy frozen, just pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator the day of serving.
How to serve seared tuna
Searing tuna is truly a 5 minute recipe! However, to make it a quick dinner it’s nice to have a few sides on hand for serving it. For our seared ahi tuna dinner, Alex and I used up some of the components we had on-hand. We had just made Cauliflower Tacos, so we realized that many of those components could be reworked to make a seared tuna bowl. Turns out Yum Yum sauce is perfect as a seared ahi tuna sauce too! Here’s how to accessorize your seared tuna:
- Grain: Use leftover or cooked rice or quinoa
- Vegetables: Try quick sauteed broccoli, sauteed spinach, or sauteed green beans (we used leftover crispy breaded cauliflower from the tacos the night before)
- Pickled onions: Adding tangy pickled red onions amps up any meal
- Sauce: Try Yum Yum sauce or Spicy Mayo
Of course, you could serve your seared tuna with all sorts of things, like over a greens as a salad or with any of our sauces as a drizzle. Let us know how you plan to serve it!
More tuna recipes
Love ahi tuna? Here are a few more great tuna recipes:
- Try a Perfect Tuna Steak with garlic herb sauce
- Fire up the grill for Best-Ever Grilled Tuna Steak
- Opt for Tuna Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw
- Grab Tuna Tartare
This seared ahi tuna recipe is…
Pescatarian and gluten-free.Print
Seared tuna is a super quick, nutritious and filling quick dinner idea! Serve with leftover veggies and rice.
- 6 ounces high quality ahi tuna (sashimi grade recommended; wild caught if you can find it*)
- ½ tablespoon neutral oil
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- For serving: we used leftover Crispy Breaded Cauliflower, Pickled Onions, Sauteed Spinach (use sesame oil), Rice, and Yum Yum Sauce (or Spicy Mayo)
- Allow the tuna steak to come to room temperature by letting it stand for at least 20 minutes.
- Pat the tuna dry. Sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper on both sides.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the steak and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned on the outside but still rare on the inside. The tuna will continue cooking while sitting. For a medium-rare tuna steak, the internal temperature should be 130°F when measured with a food thermometer at the thickest point.
- Cool for 2 minutes. Then slice the tuna against the grain into ½-inch slices and serve immediately.
*Frozen is okay, just thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Asian Inspired
Keywords: Seared tuna, How to sear tuna, Seared ahi tuna, Seared ahi tuna sauce
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