Blackened Ahi Tuna

Experience the mouthwatering delight of my Blackened Ahi Tuna recipe! With a homemade blackened seasoning crust and a perfect sear, it’s a healthy and straightforward way to enjoy fresh ahi tuna. This dish promises a burst of flavors that will leave your taste buds craving for more!

Seared blackened ahi tuna steak served on a black slate with soy sauce mixed with wasabi.

Why I Love This Recipe

What makes my Blackened Ahi Tuna recipe so special is it’s my own creation, offering a straightforward way to savor seared ahi tuna with restaurant-quality flavors right in the comfort of your home! This Hawaiian-inspired dish features fresh ahi steaks seasoned and pan-seared to perfection, served with a delightful soy sauce dipping sauce!

Just like in my Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna and Seared Yellowfin Tuna Tataki dishes, I simply season the ahi steaks and pan-sear them to perfection, eliminating the need for marinating, unlike my Seared Marinated Tuna recipe. It’s a fantastic main dish that delivers spicy, savory ahi tuna with a satisfying umami kick from the dipping sauce. If you’re seeking an easy and healthy recipe using fresh ahi tuna steaks, this one is a must-try! I promise you will love it!



  • Yellowfin TunaSushi/Sashimi Grade Ahi Yellowfin Tuna, also known as ahi in Hawaii. Can be found in the fresh seafood section as well as frozen fillets  labeled saku blocks.
  • Chili Pepper – ground chili pepper in powder form.
  • Cayenne Pepper ground Cayenne Pepper, optional.
  • White Pepper – ground White Pepper in a bottle.
  • Coarse Sea Salt – must be Coarse Sea Salt.
  • Neutral Oil no taste or flavor with high cooking temperature. Some choices are sunflower oil, peanut oil, sallower oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil. 
  • Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Can also use tamari for gluten-free.
  • Wasabi – wasbai powder or premixed wasabi paste.

Seasoning Add-Ins

Enhance the flavor of your seasoning by adding a dash of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. These seasonings complement the primary blackened seasoning without overpowering it.

🍣 Tuna Note

To achieve the best taste and texture, opt for Sashimi-Grade Ahi Tuna Steaks. While frozen and thawed varieties can be used, if possible, fresh ahi tuna is the ideal choice for an even more delicious outcome.

Fresh ahi steak on a preparation board.


☑ Before Getting Started

Before getting started, it’s recommended to use a spacious, Large Pan. This will help retain maximum heat for achieving a perfect sear on your ahi tuna steaks.

Step 1 Premix the dry seasoning by combining chili powder, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and coarse sea salt in a mixing bowl.

Seasoning for blackened ahi tuna.

Step 2 Pat dry your ahi steaks and generously rub the seasoning mix on both sides of the ahi steaks.

Tuna fillet seasoned with blackened ahi tuna.

Step 3 Preheat a large skillet coated with oil over high heat. Add the ahi steaks and sear them for 15-20 seconds on all sides.

Blackened ahi tuna being seared.

🍳 Searing Pro Tip

For perfect searing results, use High Heat and High-Temperature Cooking Oil, and ensure not to overcook the ahi.

Step 4 Slice the ahi steaks against the grain and serve them with a mixture of soy sauce and wasabi.

Blackened ahi tuna served with soy sauce.

🍽️ Ahi Serving Notes

Your ahi tuna should have a Raw Center to achieve the best texture.

Pairing Recommendations

Your Blackened Ahi Tuna can be complemented by serving a refreshing green salad tossed in Miso Dressing, providing a delightful contrast to the bold flavors of the tuna. For added texture and taste, consider a side of Wakame Seaweed Salad or Wasabi Avocado Salad. To complete your meal, a bowl of Clam Miso Soup brings comforting warmth that pairs perfectly with the seared ahi tuna.

Ahi steak seasoned with blackened seasoning.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I thaw frozen ahi tuna steaks?

If using frozen ahi steaks, either leave them at room temperature for 3-4 hours or, if in a hurry, soak them in cold water for 30-45 minutes without removing them from the vacuum package.

Is seared ahi supposed to be raw in the center?

Yes, seared ahi tuna is meant to have a rare to medium-rare center. Cooking it beyond this point will result in a dry and chewy texture.

Is it safe to eat ahi tuna rare or medium-rare?

Yes, it's safe to enjoy ahi tuna rare or medium-rare, as long as it has been handled and stored properly.


Seared blackened ahi tuna steak served on a black slate with soy sauce mixed with wasabi.

Storage Tips

To store leftover, place it in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator. The leftovers will maintain their quality for 2 to 3 days.

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Watch How To Make It

Seared blackened ahi tuna steak served on a black slate with soy sauce mixed with wasabi.

Blackened Ahi Tuna

Delight in the flavors of perfectly blackened and seared ahi tuna. A quick and easy dish with a mouthwatering cajun seasoning blend.
5 from 7 votes
Course: Appetizer, dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Asian Fusion, Hawaiian
Keyword: blackened ahi tuna, blackened tuna, seared ahi tuna
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 243kcal



  • 14 oz Yellowfin Tuna about 2 steak fillets
  • 1 tsp Chili Pepper
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt MUST be coarse otherwise will be too salty
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil neutral, no flavor or taste
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Wasabi


  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for blackened ahi tuna.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix ingredients for seasoning, ground chili pepper, cayenne pepper, White Pepper, Coarse Sea Salt and set aside.
    Seasoning for blackened ahi tuna.
  • Prepare ahi tuna steaks by patting dry with a paper towel. Generously sprinkle on seasoning on both sides of the ahi steak and set aside. Note - make sure the ahi steaks are thoroughly defrosted before cooking.
    Tuna fillet seasoned with blackened ahi tuna.
  • In a large frying pan, add high temp neutral cooking oil on high heat. Once the oil is preheated, add tuna and sear uncovered for 15-20 seconds on all sides. Note - if you prefer medium-well cooked steaks, sear for 30-45 seconds per side, but I don't recommend cooking it for any longer.
    Tuna fillet seasoned with blackened ahi tuna.
  • Cut ahi steaks against the grain and then transfer to a serving plate. Serve with soy sauce mixed with wasabi.
    Blackened ahi tuna served with soy sauce.


Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 418mg | Potassium: 934mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 832IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 2mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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