Seared Ahi tuna

tuna sliced

Seared Ahi, such a fine treat, usually reserved for Asian restaurants, but why? It really doesn’t take a lot of work, or ingredients to make this delicious appetizer at home, and add in your own flare. 

I have lost count of the number of these I’ve cooked in my past restaurant jobs, but it’s still a personal favorite, especially when Ahi goes on sale. It’s also a great dish to pull out if you’re really trying to impress a guest, or just want to liven up the humdrum weeknight dinner. In full disclosure, in the restauraunts, I was using a prepackaged spice blend, that I’ve not quite recreated, and also haven’t really seen for sale, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get close, or even better, doing it at home.


  • Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp course sea salt
  • 1 tsp course ground pepper
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • pinch of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice, if you have it


  1. Get a cast iron pan on heat, with enough sesame oil to cover the bottom, it really depends on the pan how much you will need.
  2. Dry the tuna on papertowels, while drying, combine spices on a plate.
  3. Coat the tuna with the spice mix, however is easiest for you. I put in down and just roll it around on the spices.
  4. When properly coated, begin to sear. Depending on thickness, about 60 seconds a side.
  5. Make sure you sear top, bottom, and as many edges as you can. tuna cooking
  6. Slice with a SHARP knife. My knife wasn’t as sharp as I thought, resulting in thicker slices and rough edges. You’re looking for 1/4 inch thick or thinner, preferably thinner.
  7. Serve over greens, or on its own. I like to dip in Thai Chili Sauce, in the restaraunt we served with Ponzu, but I personally dislike the taste. Teriyaki is good, but so is just straight.


  • If your oil looks like this image, you messed up. This was from my first home attempt, it was way over salted, and way over cooked.
  • tuna mistake

    If it looks like this, it’s overcooked

    Old Bay may sound like a good idea as a spice to add. It’s not. Way to much salt for the dish to come out right.

  • I’ve used lemonpepper in my spice mix with mixed results, some people like it, some don’t.

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