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.
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, and when I see a particularly beautiful piece at the market, glossy and ruby red, then it’s hard to pass up.
While 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.
Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki
This Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki is a simple way to bring the lure of the ocean to the dinner table – tuna seared ever so quickly, to retain that gorgeous buttery texture and beautiful color, drizzled with a soy-ginger-lime dressing, 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.
Back at home, I am back to embracing bacon and steak, and that is fine. But I will say this, I made a promise to myself to eat more fish during the week. I don’t need ocean breezes and palm trees to start, though you must admit, it really does kind of help, doesn’t it?
More Seafood Recipes
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
Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki
- 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
- Roll the ahi tuna in the sesame seeds, pressing lightly so that the fish is evenly coated with sesame seeds on all side.
- 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 a drizzle of a little more olive oil.
- Enjoy immediately.