Sesame-crusted ahi tuna with soy ginger lime sauce is a healthy and very simple dish to make! Pickled cucumbers add a sweet and tangy crunch with each bite.
At the market, I’m always keeping my eye out for some good fresh fish, and recently I scored two beautiful ahi tuna steaks, and I knew just what to do. Nothing is easier and more delicious than sesame-crusted ahi tuna that has been lightly seared and served rare with some tangy soy dipping sauce.
I’ve been daydreaming about tropical Palm trees, sandy beaches, and warm waters lately. I think momma needs a vacation! Well if I can’t get on a jet plane, I can, at least, bring some fresh island cuisine to us.
Cooking raw fish may seem harder than it is. Of course, I was a little intimidated when I first started working with sushi-grade fresh fish. For this recipe, all you need to do is sprinkle sesame seeds on the outside of the steaks and quickly sear each side in a very hot pan for about a minute.
That’s it! The searing gives a nice contrast of textures with each bite; savory cooked edges and tender throughout. Make sure that as tempting as it may be, do not overcook the fish. Otherwise, you end up with the stuff they use for tuna fish salad.
I like to serve sesame-crusted ahi tuna steaks two ways depending on how hungry we are, hehe. I cut the seared fish into thin slices serve them with some pickled cucumbers and soy ginger-lime dipping sauce, or with brown rice and tons of vegetables to make a healthy tuna bowl.
Oh man, you are going to demolish each bite, the tangy-sweet soy sauce ties all of the flavors together. We enjoyed this meal of super fresh seared ahi tuna and all of the fixings. I could certainly go for this meal every week!
More Asian recipes
How do I know what kind of raw fish to purchase?
It’s really important to consider food safety when consuming raw fish. You want to make sure you talk to the vendors before buying the fish to make sure it’s safe for raw consumption. It’s also a good idea to buy fish that has been previously frozen because some species of fish contain parasites and freezing them will kill those that may be present. However, freezing doesn’t kill all harmful microorganisms which is why it’s good to cook the fish to be the safest. Searing the ahi tuna on the surface helps to reduce the risk of microbial contamination, but still make sure you buy and store fish that has been properly handled. (Source: FDA.gov)
Ahi Tuna with Soy Ginger Lime Sauce
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar, Kikkoman
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, dried
- 2 6-inch japanese cucumbers, or Persian, cut into ⅛-inch slices
Soy Ginger Lime Sauce
- 20 ounces ahi tuna, (four 5-oz pieces) about 1-inch thick
- 8 tablespoons sesame seeds, (white, black or mixture of both)
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or vegetable oil
- Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and chili flakes in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Remove from heat. Add cucumber slices and stir.
- Let it rest for 10 minutes, then transfer cucumber to a sealable container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Soy Ginger Lime Sauce
- Whisk together all soy ginger lime sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Place sesame seeds on a plate. Pat dry the tuna steaks with a paper towel to remove excess water.
- Dredge and press tuna in sesame seeds, coating evenly. Sprinkle with more seeds as needed.
- In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil until just smoking.
- Frying two portions at a time, arrange the tuna steaks in the pan (do not overcrowd) and cook until the sesame seeds start to turn golden underneath, about 1 minute.
- Turn the tuna over and cook for 1 minute.
- Sear the edges of the tuna for 15 seconds on each edge.
- Transfer the tuna to a plate with a paper towel, gently patting to soak up any excess oil. Repeat with remaining tuna portions.
- Transfer tuna to a cutting board and cut ¼-inch thick slices.
- Arrange tuna on individual serving plates or bowls. Serve with pickled cucumbers and soy ginger lime sauce.