This easy seared albacore tuna is seasoned with sesame seeds and a ginger soy sauce marinade. This extra-quick main course is ready in 20 minutes!
I tasted seared tuna steaks for the very first time in 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I can still remember how wonderful each bite was.
Since then, I’ve been thrilled when I’m able to get ahold of some really high-quality, sustainably caught tuna.
Recently, though, my monthly Sitka Salmon Shares delivery included albacore tuna loins.
Do you have tuna in your freezer too?
This seared albacore tuna recipe is easy to prepare and makes a quick and delicious dinner!
What’s the Difference Between Ahi and Albacore Tuna?
They’re different species of tuna.
You’ll most often find albacore tuna in cans, but you can (occasionally) buy it in steaks or loins.
Albacore has a slightly stronger flavor than ahi tuna, and works well with complimentary strong flavors like the ginger soy sauce in this recipe.
Can I Use Ahi Tuna In This Recipe?
You sure can!
Ahi tuna is easier to find, so if that’s what you’ve got on hand, use it.
Want your fish delivered? Checkout my tips on where to order seafood online.
How to Marinate the Tuna
Start by blending all the marinade ingredients up in a blender.
You’ll need rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, wasabi, sugar and green onions.
Pour the blended marinade over the tuna and let it sit for about ten minutes.
How to Sear Albacore Tuna
Sprinkle some sesame seeds onto the fish.
Next, add oil to a heavy pan. I use this Lodge 12″ carbon steel skillet.
Get the oil really hot and then set the tuna into the pan. Quickly sear the tuna on all sides.
Make the Pan Sauce
Remove the fish from the pan and set it aside.
Pour the marinade into the pan along with a little lemon juice. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then turn off the heat.
Seared Albacore Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce
- 8 ounce albacore tuna loin or steak (~4oz per person)
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari (use gluten-free certified if needed)
- 1 tablespoon shaved ginger (or ginger paste)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon wasabi OR 1 tsp horseradish
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 green onions, plus a handful of diced green onion tops for garnish (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
- Blend vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, wasabi (or horseradish), sugar, and green onion. Taste sauce, adjust seasoning if necessary (adding more soy, sugar, ginger etc if preferred). Marinate tuna in blended sauce for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of tuna at end of marinade.
- 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 30-45 seconds per side, then remove from pan. (For tuna loins with 3 sides, sear all 3 sides for about 20 seconds each.)
- 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.For steaks: Slice tuna in thin strips. If desired, leave about ½" 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.For loins: Thinly slice the tuna and serve fanned on a plate with ginger soy pan sauce and extra green onion to garnish.
- Sweeter Sauce: Add ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice to the sauce.
- Make it a Salad: Add 1 cup orange juice to the final pan sauce, and use the pan sauce as a warm salad dressing. Remove sauce from pan, and add about 4oz fresh spinach to the pan. Toss 30 seconds, until wilted. Serve tuna over the spinach with the warm dressing.