Seared Blackened Ahi Tuna Steak

A healthy and unforgettable seared blackened Ahi tuna steak that rivals restaurants.  This ahi steak is packed with wonderful flavor and perfect for those warm spring and summer months!

Whenever we visit Hawaii, I never miss an opportunity to order some ahi tuna!  Something about being in the warm tropical climate surrounded by the blue ocean makes ahi tuna so fitting and extra delicious.

This recipe can be easily made with a simple spice rub and a quick sear.  After making this recipe, I guarantee you will be making this ahi recipe over and over again!

Seared blackened ahi tuna steak served on a black slate with wasabi style dipping sauce.

What is blackened seared ahi tuna?

Blackened seared ahi tuna usually refers to raw ahi tuna that has been rubbed with a spicy seasoning and then seared on both sides leaving the center rare or medium-rare.

What ingredients do I need and how do you cook blackened ahi tuna?

  • Yellowfin Ahi Tuna Steaks – use fresh sushi grade raw ahi tuna steaks.  Frozen works too.  You can usually purchase ahi tuna steak at a supermarket, seafood market, or Asian supermarket. Also bigeye, skipjack, or even blackfin tuna can be used as well.
  • Ground Chili Pepper – found in most supermarkets, and not as spicy as cayenne pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper – 8 times spicier than chili pepper, if spicy isn’t your thing you can use less of this.
  • Ground White Pepper – white pepper is milder than black pepper with less complexity and more heat.
  • Coarse Sea Salt – sea salt or any type of salt will work
  • Cooking Oil – use a neutral flavor searing oil with a high smoke temp such as sunflower, grapeseed or safflower oil.

Generously rub seasoning on both sides of tuna.  On a cast iron skillet, sear all sides for 15-20 seconds depending on how rare you would like the center.  Place seared tuna on a cutting board and slice. Serve with wasabi soy dipping sauce.

Ahi tuna steak prepared for pan frying.

What kind of ahi steak should I use?

Frozen and thawed ahi tuna steaks can be used for this recipe, however, if you have access to fresh ahi, that would be ideal!  You can also use bigeye, skipjack, or even blackfin tuna!

If you don’t live near a supermarket with a fresh selection of ahi, we recommend ordering through Catalina Offshore Seafood.

What sides go well with seared ahi tuna?

  • Green Salad – chop up your favorite greens and make a seared ahi tuna salad.  Healthy, fresh, and delicious!
  • Steamed Vegetable – steam your choice of veggies to put on the side for a high protein, low carb meal.
  • Rice – seared ahi tuna with a side of white rice will give you sushi vibes.
  • Cauliflower Rice with Lemon Juice – a healthier choice is using cauliflower rice as a side to accompany the ahi tuna.

Ahi tuna steak with blackened seasoning rub.

What are the bonito flakes used in the sauce?

Bonito flakes, aka katsuobushi, are dried flakes from either bonito or skipjack tuna fish that are used in various Japanese cuisines.  Its primary use is for the base of many soup and sauces known to give Japanese cuisine that umami flavor you all know and love.

For a shortcut, you can use 1/8tsp of hondashi powder purchased from the Asian supermarket.

Is the ahi steak supposed to be raw in the middle?

Typically, you will find ahi tuna steaks served at restaurants to be seared and cooked to a rare or medium-rare center.  Any more doneness than that will result in a rubbery texture of the fish that is considered to be undesirable.

What is the nutrition information for this blackened ahi tuna recipe?

  • 243 Calories
  • 2g Carbohydrates
  • 1g Fiber
  • 50g Protein
  • 1g Fat
  • 78mg Cholesterol
  • 418 mg Sodium
  • 934mg Potassium
  • 16mg Calcium
  • 2mg Iron
  • 832ui Vitamin A
  • 1mg Vitamin C

Seared Blackened Ahi Tuna Steak served on a black slate.

Looking for other ahi tuna recipes?

Now, let’s get pan frying this Seared Blackened Ahi Tuna Steaks recipe!

  • Prepping Time 7M
  • Cooking Time 1M
  • Total Time 8M
  • Net Carb/Serving ~1g
  • Servings 2

Ingredients

Tuna

Wasabi Paste

  • 1 tsp Wasabi Powder (you can sub with packaged/tubed wasabi, but it won’t be nearly as flavorful).
  • 1 tsp Water

Sauce

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

2) In a small mixing bowl, add Wasabi Powder with 1 tsp water and mix to form a paste (add another 1/2 tsp of water if the paste is too dry).  Once paste is formed, place the small mixing bowl upside down to bring the most out of the flavors.  Note – the more you mix the Wasabi Powder, the spicier it will get.

3) In a stove top pot, combine ingredients for the sauce – Soy Sauce, water, Bonito Flakes, Japanese Sake, sweetener and bring to boil.  Once boiling, remove from heat and let it rest for 1 minute.  After resting, strain Bonito Flakes with a strainer and use a spoon to push out any excess juices from the Bonito Flakes.  Transfer sauce to a mixing bowl and set aside.

4) In a small mixing bowl, mix ingredients for seasoning – ground chili pepper, cayenne pepper, Ground White Pepper, Coarse Sea Salt and set aside.

5) 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.

6) In a large Teflon frying pan, add high temp neutral cooking on high heat.  Once the oil starts to lightly smoke, about 2-3 minutes, 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 we don’t recommend cooking it for any longer.

7) Cut ahi steaks against the grain and then transfer to a serving plate.  Combine wasabi paste from step 2) with sauce from step 3) and serve as a dipping sauce.

Hope you enjoy your Seared Blackened Ahi Tuna Steak!

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Seared blackened ahi tuna steak served on a black slate with wasabi style dipping sauce.

Seared Blackened Ahi Tuna Steak

A healthy and unforgettable seared blackened Ahi tuna steak that rivals restaurants.  This ahi steak is packed with wonderful flavor and perfect for those warm spring and summer months!
5 from 5 votes
Course: Appetizer, dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Asian Fusion, Hawaiian
Keyword: blackened ahi tuna recipe, blackened tuna
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 243kcal

Ingredients

Tuna

  • 14 oz Yellowfin Tuna about 2 steak fillets
  • 1 tsp Ground Chili Pepper
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground White Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt MUST be coarse otherwise will be too salty
  • 2 tbsp High Temp Neutral Cooking Oil

Wasabi Paste

  • 1 tsp Wasabi Powder you can sub with packaged/tubed wasabi, but it won't be nearly as flavorful.
  • 1 tsp Water

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 1 tbsp Bonito Flakes can sub with 1/8 tsp of hondashi
  • 1 tbsp Japanese Sake can substitute with dry sherry
  • 1 tsp Sweetener monkfruit erythritol blend, sugar or sweetener of choice

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add Wasabi Powder with 1 tsp water and mix to form a paste (add another 1/2 tsp of water if the paste is too dry). Once paste is formed, place the small mixing bowl upside down to bring the most out of the flavors. Note - the more you mix the Wasabi Powder, the spicier it will get.
  • In a stove top pot, combine ingredients for the sauce - Soy Sauce, water, Bonito Flakes, Japanese Sake, sweetener and bring to boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and let it rest for 1 minute. After resting, strain Bonito Flakes with a strainer and use a spoon to push out any excess juices from the Bonito Flakes. Transfer sauce to a mixing bowl and set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix ingredients for seasoning - ground chili pepper, cayenne pepper, Ground White Pepper, Coarse Sea Salt and set aside.
  • 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.
  • In a large Teflon frying pan, add high temp neutral cooking on high heat. Once the oil starts to lightly smoke, about 2-3 minutes, 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 we don't recommend cooking it for any longer.
  • Cut ahi steaks against the grain and then transfer to a serving plate. Combine wasabi paste from step 2) with sauce from step 3) and serve as a dipping sauce.

Video

Nutrition

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
Did you make this recipe?Tag @LowCarbingAsian on Instagram and hashtag it #LowCarbingAsian

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