Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna

Prepare to be delighted with my Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna recipe! This seafood dish showcases fresh ahi steaks encrusted in toasted sesame seeds and expertly seared to perfection, offering a burst of flavor and a protein-rich meal option ready in a mere 8 minutes. With its Japanese-inspired sauce and effortless preparation, this recipe promises to be a standout favorite for everyone!

Sesame Crusted Pan Seared Ahi Steaks served with Japanese style tataki sauce.


Why I Love This Recipe

Let me tell you why I absolutely love this recipe! It’s my take on seared ahi steaks, crusted in sesame seeds and cooked to perfection, paired with my signature ahnd crafted ahi steak sauce! Inspired by Asian flavors and cooked using the same proven technique as my popular Blackened Ahi Tuna and Hawaiian Glazed Seared Ahi Tuna recipes, this dish is a true seafood delight!

Picture tender, fresh ahi steaks with a delightful pop of sesame texture, all coated in a proven zesty, savory ginger sauce used in my Seared Yellowfin Tuna Tataki dish! Perfect for anyone craving a restaurant-quality ahi steak, this recipe is not only flavorful but also remarkably easy to prepare using wholesome, real ingredients. So why wait? Let’s get making it right away!



  • 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.
  • Cayenne Pepper ground Cayenne Pepper.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds – optional garnish.
  • Neutral Oil no taste or flavor with high cooking temperature. Some choices are sunflower oil, peanut oil, sallower oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil. 
  • Ginger– freshly grated ginger.
  • Ponzu – a citrus flavored soy sauce found in most Japanese supermarkets, Mizkan brand preferred.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil – 100% Toasted Sesame Oil that should have a dark brown color.  
  • Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Can also use tamari for gluten-free and coconut aminos for keto.  
  • Lemon – fresh lemons.

🍣 Tuna Ingredient 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.

A bottle of Japanese Mizkan ponzu.


☑ 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 Prepare ginger soy sauce dipping sauce by combining grated ginger, ponzu, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and lemon.

Ponzu style dipping sauce.

🥢 Sauce Pro Tip

Prepare the ginger soy sauce In Advance to allow the flavors to meld together, enhancing its taste.

Step 2 Prepare ahi steaks by patting down with a towel, sprinkling cayenne pepper on both sides of the steak, and crusting with toasted sesame seeds.

Ahi being coated in sesame seeds.

Step 3 Use a large skillet coated with cooking oil on high heat and sear ahi steaks for 15-20 seconds on all sides.

Ahi steaks crusted with sesame seeds 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 Cut ahi steak against the grain and serve with dipping sauce.

Sesame seared ahi tuna served on a plate.

🍽️ Ahi Serving Note

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

Pairing Recommendations

Enhance your ahi steak with refreshing sides like Tako Su, Japanese Cucumber Salad, or Cabbage Salad for a crunchy touch. Enjoy a comforting bowl of Clam Miso Soup alongside your choice of rice. These dishes will perfectly complement the flavors of the Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna.

Ahi steaks cleaned and ready for searing.

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.

What is Ahi Tuna?

Ahi tuna, known as yellowfin tuna, is a type of lean meat fish. It's often sought after for its firm texture and mild flavor, making it a popular choice for dishes like seared tuna steaks. It's important to distinguish ahi tuna from the tuna typically served in sushi restaurants, which is bluefin tuna. Bluefin tuna, referred to as 'hon maguro' or 'true tuna', has fattier meat.

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.


Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna being dipped into Japanese style tataki sauce.

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.

Other Recipes You Might Like

BEST 25 EASY & HEALTHY Recipes Sent Directly to Your Inbox RIGHT NOW!

Plus Monthly NEW RECIPES Exclusively from LCA!

By subscribing you agree to receive our promotional marketing materials and agree with our Privacy Policy.

Watch How To Make It

Sesame Crusted Pan Seared Ahi Steaks served with Japanese style tataki sauce.

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna

Enjoy restaurant-quality ahi tuna at home with this easy-to-follow recipe. Crusted in toasted sesame seeds and seared to perfection, this dish promises a burst of flavor in every bite.
5 from 5 votes
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Keyword: sesame crusted ahi tuna, sesame seared ahi tuna
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 460kcal





  • Gather all the ingredients. Note - make sure the ahi steaks are thoroughly defrosted before cooking.
    Ingredients for sesame seared ahi tuna.
  • Grind ginger down with a grinder or a garter and set aside.
    Grated ginger.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add grated ginger, Ponzu, Toasted Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce, and Lemon Juice. Mix together and set aside.
    Ponzu style dipping sauce.
  • Pour the Toasted Sesame Seeds into a baking tray similar in size to your ahi steaks.
    Toasted sesame seeds in a glass dish.
  • 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.
    Ahi being coated in sesame seeds.
  • 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 we don't recommend cooking it for any longer.
    Ahi steaks crusted with sesame seeds being toasted.
  • Cut ahi steaks against the grain and then transfer to a serving plate. Serve with dipping sauce.
    Sesame seared ahi tuna served on a plate.


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
Looking for Other Recipes?Sign Up to Get RECIPES Sent Directly to Your Inbox!



  1. How much Togarashi?

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hello Pam – sorry that is a mistake. No togarashi is needed in the sauce because the tuna steaks are already seasoned with cayenne pepper.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *