Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki with a soy-ginger-lemon dressing on a white plate.

Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki

One of the best ways to enjoy ahi tuna is flash seared, with a zingy Asian-style dressing, like in this recipe for Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki.

Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki with a soy-ginger-lemon dressing on a white plate.
Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki

Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki – when cooking ahi tuna, simple is best. A quick sear and delicious ginger, lemon, and soy dressing add a pop to this dish, perfect as an appetizer or light lunch.

Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki with an soy-ginger-lime dressing on a white plate.

Note: This post was originally published on July 17, 2015. The recipe has been updated from the archives with updated content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

I am convinced that I can become a pescetarian. Wait. I should rephrase that: I am convinced that I can become a pescetarian when I am on vacation on a tropical island. There must be something said about the sense of place, the proximity to the ocean, and of course, the access to incredibly fresh fish. So when I do find myself on vacation, I eat seafood for every meal (and marvel at my son who will even opt for fish for breakfast).

Once we’re back home, it changes. Despite the fact that San Francisco’s seafood scene isn’t too shabby, the idea of pescetarianism loses its luster, and the one thing I can not seem to possibly replicate is the utter freshness of the ahi tuna. But the craving still bites. When I see a particularly beautiful piece at the market, glossy and ruby red, it’s hard to pass up.

While we were away, we ate our fill of ahi tuna poke and tataki. The fish was so buttery and fresh that really, it did not need much in terms of seasoning. But paired with a flavorful dressing and layered with textures, each bite would disappear far too quickly once the plate hit the table.

I couldn’t wait to recreate these fresh bites when we returned home.

Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki

This Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki is a simple way to bring the lure of the ocean to the dinner table. The tuna is seared ever so quickly, to retain that gorgeous buttery texture and beautiful color. A drizzle of soy-ginger-lemon dressing adds punch. And the best part: thin, crispy shavings of lightly browned garlic. You have to eat each piece with a little bit of each element, bringing all the layers of flavor together.

Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki with a ginger soy dressing on a white plate.

The seared ahi tuna is wonderful on its own with the dressing. But for an extra bite of freshness, you can serve it over light baby greens for a delicious salad!

Finished dish with an soy-ginger-lime dressing served with salad greens on a white plate.

More Seafood Recipes

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Grilled Shrimp Foil Packets with Basil, Garlic, and Red Curry Compound Butter
Grilled Chimichurri Lobster and Chimichurri Potato Salad
Thai-style Salmon Burgers
Alaska Dungeness Crab Cake Benedict
Spicy Fish Taco Bowls with Cabbage Slaw

Freshly prepared seared tuna dish surrounded by greens and covered with fresh seasonings.

Note: This post was originally published on July 17, 2015. The recipe has been updated from the archives with updated content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki

Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki – when cooking ahi tuna, simple is best. A quick sear and delicious ginger, lemon, and soy dressing add pop to this dish, perfect as an appetizer or light lunch.
Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki with a soy-ginger-lemon dressing on a white plate.
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5 from 1 vote
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 503kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb (8 oz) sushi grade ahi tuna
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 sprigs cilantro
  • 1 fresno chili or substitute jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Roll the ahi tuna in the sesame seeds, pressing lightly so that the fish is evenly coated with sesame seeds on all sides.
  • Heat the olive oil and sesame oil in a pan over high heat. Add 3/4 of the thinly sliced garlic to the pan and as the pieces turn golden brown, retrieve the garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the tuna to the pan and sear the fish for about 15-20 seconds per side, then set aside on a plate.
  • Make the dressing by whisking together the ginger, soy sauce, lemon juice and remaining sliced garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Thinly slice the tuna, and divide between the plates. Drizzle the dressing over the tuna, then garnish with cilantro, scallion, chili, and an additional drizzle of olive oil.
  • Enjoy immediately.

Notes

Lightly adapted from Asian Seared Tuna by Jamie Oliver.

Nutrition

Calories: 503kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 1056mg | Potassium: 502mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2750IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 5mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante
White plates filled with sliced flash seared ahi tuna with a bright Asian style dressing.
Original photo of Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki published on July 17, 2015

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  1. Mark K

    5 stars
    Incredibly good and very easy to make! As always, having the highest quality tuna is key, but the ingredients and flavors in this dish are spectacular.

    Reply
  2. Aunt Shirl

    This looks really good! Can you tell me when to use the 1 teaspoon of sesame oil? Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Hi! The sesame oil goes in the same time as the olive oil — I’ve updated the recipe to reflect this! Thanks!!

      Reply
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