Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce- Delicious, Easy, and Ready in 15 Minutes

Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

This Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce is a delicious, simple to prepare dinner that’s ready in about 20 minutes!

I just wrote a love poem to my tuna– want to hear it?  ‘Ahi Tuna, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  I love thy flavor and freshness and–‘  Okay I’ll stop.  Seriously, though, ahi tuna is FANTASTIC.  If you’ve never tried it, it’s typically served either raw or VERY lightly seared.  It also tends to be on the pricey side at restaurants, which is tragic, because I want to eat it ALL. THE. TIME.  The solution to my (and your) tuna-budget woes is to cook it at home.  This Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce is simple to make, and is so bursting with delicious flavors that you’ll giggle with happiness.

In a hurry? Jump to the recipe! 

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

Gathering Ingredients

If you’ve eaten ahi tuna before, you’ve probably seen bright, ruby-red fish on your plate.   Tuna’s signature bright red color actually begins to fade as soon as it’s caught, but some companies spray their tuna with a carbon monoxide gas to enhance the red and make it “prettier.”  That’s why you’ll see both pale pink and bright red tuna steaks when you’re shopping.  The taste shouldn’t be affected, but I tend to avoid the gassed tuna.  If you’re worried about price, but still want to avoid the (usually cheaper) gassed tuna, Trader Joe’s sells tuna steaks that aren’t bright red.  I’ve also found some locally at a health food store for about $6 for 2 steaks– not bad at all!

Making Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna

This Ginger Orange Seared Ahi Tuna is a fishy take on Orange Chicken. This delicious dinner show-stopper is easy to prepare and ready in 15 minutes.

Ginger Orange Seared Ahi Tuna

Once you’ve got your hands on these tasty fish steaks, go ahead and get excited.  Start this Seared Ahi Tuna by thawing your tuna steaks, and then make the ginger soy marinade by blending rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, green onion, and wasabi.  If you can’t find wasabi, you can substitute horseradish and crushed mustard seeds, and it will still be delicious.  Pour the marinade over the tuna, and leave it alone for about 10 minutes.  Make sure not to throw out the marinade when you cook the steaks– you’ll use it later.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on the tuna (on either both sides or just one side– it’s totally up to you).  Heat oil on high in a heavy bottom pan (I use cast iron), and when it’s very hot and smoking, sear the tuna for 15 – 30 seconds per side, and then remove it from the pan.  Don’t cook it longer– take it off the heat!  Overcooked tuna is a very sad thing.  Turn the heat to medium, and let the pan cool a little.  Next, you’re going to make a pan sauce.  Pour the marinade into the pan along with the lemon juice, and stir, stir, stir with a wooden spoon.  Serve the Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with your finished Ginger Soy Sauce.  I like to slice my tuna steaks almost all the way through, so that I can fan them out all fancy-like, but you don’t have to do that unless you want to!  Serve your tuna with a big green salad, dig in, enjoy, and don’t even bother trying to contain your food-happiness.

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

A Note on Seafood Labeling: When you’re fish shopping in the seafood freezer aisle, you might be tempted to pay extra for the “sushi grade” label, but be aware– It means nothing.  And by nothing, I mean that it isn’t regulated by the FDA.  

A Note on Seafood Safety and Raw / Undercooked Fish: The safest way to consume raw fish is to make sure that it’s been flash frozen to kill anything that could later make you sick.  If you’re worried that frozen fish won’t be as tasty, keep in mind that even high-end sushi restaurants use frozen seafood.  Also Note: I’m not a doctor, and I’m not giving medical advice here.  If your doctor says you shouldn’t eat raw fish because you’re at a higher risk for getting sick (i.e.– if you’re pregnant or have a different medical condition that makes it unsafe), talk to them, not me, before chowing down on this lovely tuna.  

Need a side dish?  Try this:

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Roasted Asparagus


Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce
5 from 10 votes

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

Course Main Course
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 353 kcal
Author Champagne Tastes


  • 2 ahi tuna steaks (~6oz per person)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 TB ginger paste (or shaved ginger)
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1 tsp wasabi OR 1 tsp horseradish and 1/2 tsp crushed mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 green onions, sliced, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 TB sesame seeds
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)


  1. Blend vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, wasabi (or horseradish and mustard seeds), sugar, and green onion. Taste sauce, adjust seasoning if necessary (adding more soy, sugar, ginger etc if preferred). Marinate tuna steaks in blended sauce for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of tuna at end of marinade.

  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan (like a cast iron pan) on high, until oil is very hot. Reserving marinade for later, sear tuna for 15-30 seconds per side, then remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium and allow pan to cool slightly. Add marinade to pan with lemon juice, and stir with a wooden spoon. If sauce is too thick for your liking, add more lemon juice. Remove sauce from heat.
  3. Slice tuna in thin long strips. If desired, leave about 1/2" at one end of the tuna steak uncut, and serve fanned on a plate with ginger soy pan sauce and extra green onion to garnish.

Recipe Notes

*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal.

Sauce adapted from: Food Network

Seafood Safety Links (compiled, for your reading enjoyment): Seafood Health Facts, TakePart, Pacific Seafood, FDA- Selecting + Serving Seafood

42 thoughts on “Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

  1. Dawn @ Girl Heart Food says:

    I loved seared tuna! It’s not something I make a lot at home, perhaps every once in a while. There’s a restaurant that hubby and I visit and they have raw tuna with an avocado mix and it is absolutely delish! I love the pan sauce that you’ve done here…kinda taking it one step further than just the marinade. Great recipe, Sarah 🙂 !!

    • champagne-tastes says:

      Thanks!! It’s so simple to make at home.. I think I’m going to start eating it all the time lol

    • champagne-tastes says:

      Oh it’s soooo good Sue! And if you make it yourself, you know it’s been frozen and handled well. I didn’t know about the CM spray either until I accidentally bought some that Hadn’t been sprayed and started looking into it!!

  2. Laura | Wandercooks says:

    How good is sesame with fish?? Seriously your marinade sounds wonderful and I can almost taste it now. I’m always a little suspicious when I buy fish from the supermarkets (especially tuna and salmon) when you find those lush bright pieces that look too good to be true. I try to buy fish from local suppliers or dockside markets when possible, so I’ll definitely be looking out for that next fresh piece of tuna to give this a try. Yum!

    • champagne-tastes says:

      You can buy really good quality frozen Ahi Tuna too! Just look for steaks that aren’t bright red if you’re avoiding the carbon monoxide

  3. Mary says:

    This sounds delightful. And thanks for the tip on the artificially bright pink tuna. Ahi tuna steaks were some of the first fish that I actually liked (I was a reluctant fish eater as a kid) and I love them with flavors like sesame and ginger and wasabi!

  4. Debra C. says:

    First of all that tuna looks just amazing! Great tips & step by step directions too. Many thanks also for purchasing tuna, I did not know the Sushi-Grade label was not regulated – great money saving tip!

  5. Lindsey says:

    Absolutely delicious even tho I messed it up a bit. No wasabi and no mustard seeds so I only used horseradish, then I forgot to sprinkle on the sesame seeds, and forgot to buy lemons/ lemon juice…. This recipe is fool-proof. My husband and I devoured every bit of it!

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