Sesame Crusted Pan Seared Ahi Steaks

Toasted sesame crusted ahi tuna steaks are an easy and healthy pan seared dish to make any night of the week. Using this recipe, you can have a restaurant quality seafood dish without leaving your home!

Sesame crusted Ahi tuna is one of those dishes that I always want to order at restaurants but don’t because of the exorbitant price.  Now you can enjoy this restaurant quality dish right in your own home for much less than you would pay and what’s more, you can make it in minutes!

I know cooking ahi tuna steaks may be intimidating to some people but trust me when I say that there’s nothing to it. 

Sesame Crusted Pan Seared Ahi Steaks served on a wooden plank with dipping sauce.

It’s surprisingly easy to cook and quick at that. Just remember that with tuna ahi steaks, the secret is not to overcook it! If you do, the texture will be rubbery and not what we’re after.

What are ahi tuna steaks?

Ahi steaks are from yellowfin tuna, which are a tuna species found in sub-tropic and tropical waters.

They are sold as sushi grade and therefore can be consumed raw. You usually can find them at your local supermarket in a previous frozen or frozen state.

We’ve recently partnered up with Catalina Offshore Seafood to help bring you fresh ahi right to your doorstep. So if you don’t have access to a local fresh sashimi grade ahi, definitely give them a try!

Picture of ahi steaks cleaned and ready for searing.

How do you make sesame crust tuna steaks?

  • Grate fresh ginger.
  • Add all sauce ingredients to a small bowl to make the dipping sauce.
  • Lightly sprinkle cayenne pepper on both sides of ahi steak.
  • Coat tuna with sesame seeds all over.
  • In a skillet, heat oil then add ahi and sear both sides for about 15-20 seconds on all sides. 
  • Cut ahi against the grain in slices, garnish with scallions.

What kind of toasted sesame seeds do you recommend for the crust?

You can use any type of toasted sesame seed you find in the spice or Asian section at your local grocery store.  Just make sure they are labeled as ‘toasted’ or you won’t get that crunchy crust we’re after.

What kind of neutral oil do you use for pan searing?

  • Grapeseed
  • Safflower
  • Sunflower
  • Canola

A bottle of Japanese Mizkan ponzu.

What’s ponzu and what kind of you recommend for this ahi tuna recipe?

Ponzu is a citrus infused soy sauce and compliments raw fish very well. The brand we recommend using is Mizkan, which can be found in most Asian supermarkets. 

Amazon does carry it too, but the pricing is too expensive for us to recommend.

Why do you only sear the ahi steaks as opposed to cooking them to well done?

Cooking ahi steaks well done will result in a rubbery chewy texture which is not desirable. 

Traditional, ahi steaks are generally prepared to only have an outside sear and left raw in the center.  Also, ahi steaks are usually sold as sushi grade and therefore can be consumed raw.

What side dishes go well with sesame crust ahi tuna recipe?

  • Green Salad
  • Rice of Choice (white rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice etc.)
  • Stir Fry Vegetables

What are the nutritional facts for this recipe?

  • 460 Calories
  • 7g Carbohydrates
  • 3g Fiber
  • 42g Protein 
  • 29g Fat 
  • 71mg Cholesterol
  • 691mg Sodium 
  • 483mg Potassium
  • 219 iu Vitamin A
  • 280mg Calcium
  • 7mg Iron 

Sesame Crusted Pan Seared Ahi Steaks served on a wooden plank being picked up by chopsticks.

What other ahi tuna recipes can I check out?

Now, let’s get pan frying some Sesame Crusted Pan Seared Ahi Steaks!

  • Prepping Time 7M
  • Cooking Time 1M
  • Total Time 8M
  • Net Carb/Serving ~4g
  • Servings 2

Ingredients

Tuna

Sauce

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.  Note – make sure the ahi steaks are thoroughly defrosted before cooking.

2) Grind ginger down with a grinder or a garter and set aside.

3) In a small mixing bowl, add grated ginger, Ponzu, Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce, Togarashi and Lemon Juice.  Mix together and set aside.

4) Pour the Toasted Sesame Seeds into a baking tray similar in size to your ahi steaks.

5) Prepare ahi tuna steaks by patting dry with a paper towel.  Lightly sprinkle cayenne pepper on both sides of the ahi steak followed by a dip into the Toasted Sesame Seeds until a crust is formed on all sides.

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.  Serve with dipping sauce from step 3)!

Hope you enjoy your Sesame Crusted Pan Seared Ahi Steaks!

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Sesame Crusted Pan Seared Ahi Steaks served on a wooden plank with dipping sauce.

Sesame Crusted Pan Seared Ahi Steaks

Toasted sesame crusted ahi tuna steak is an easy and healthy pan seared dish to make any night of the week. Using this recipe, you can have a restaurant quality seafood dish without leaving your home!
5 from 4 votes
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Keyword: ahi steaks, sesame crusted tuna
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 460kcal

Ingredients

Tuna

  • 14 oz Ahi Yellowfin Tuna about 2 steak fillets
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 2 tbsp High Temp Neutral  Cooking Oil

Sauce

  • 1/2 Inch Ginger
  • 3 tbsp Ponzu
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients. Note - make sure the ahi steaks are thoroughly defrosted before cooking.
  • Grind ginger down with a grinder or a garter and set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add grated ginger, Ponzu, Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce, Togarashi and Lemon Juice. Mix together and set aside.
  • Pour the Toasted Sesame Seeds into a baking tray similar in size to your ahi steaks.
  • Prepare ahi tuna steaks by patting dry with a paper towel. Lightly sprinkle cayenne pepper on both sides of the ahi steak followed by a dip into the Toasted Sesame Seeds until a crust is formed on all sides.
  • 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. Serve with dipping sauce from step 3)!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 691mg | Potassium: 483mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 219IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 280mg | Iron: 7mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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