Sunday, July 10, 2011

Seared Sesame Tuna Steaks

Aunt Joanne, this one's for you! :-)

I got the idea for this awesome recipe while watching Food Network one evening (imagine that), and seeing Alton Brown do something very similar. He actually had an entire tuna loin, which I had been unable to find until recently, and he grilled his. I believe he also used more wasabi powder in his, which you are more than welcome to do, but if you’re serving it with something like wasabi mashed potatoes or drizzling a little bit of wasabi aioli over the top, I think it’s best to use the wasabi in moderation. My fellow sushi lovers can attest to the fact that too much wasabi can definitely be a bad thing!
What I really like about this recipe is that the marinade adds a little bit of flavor to the fish. If you buy really good fish, tuna included, it should never smell fishy or “off”. Sometimes, if you buy frozen fish, it has kind of a weird smell, but you can easily remedy that by soaking the fish, any fish, in milk for an hour or so. The acid in the milk absorbs any added smells and tastes… Now, keep in mind, if the fish is bad, there’s no saving it! Please, do not ever try to revive old/bad fish by soaking it in milk, because it’s not going to work and you (or your dinner guests) could possibly suffer from food poisoning. Nobody wants that!
For those of you who don’t know about tuna, I just want to say that, yes, you ARE supposed to eat it rare to medium-rare. In fact, if you overcook it, I’m guessing it will taste very much like that dry stuff you buy in a can at your local market, which needs some mayo to make it taste good. You can ask just about anyone, and they’ll tell you that eating rare meat is not generally something I do. I was at dinner with my best friend and her mom and ordered a hamburger that was still very pink in the middle, and I couldn’t even eat it after seeing that. I don’t generally care for steaks because I don’t like them to have any pink in them, which means they usually end up on the tough side. I’m not the kinda girl to condone eating raw meat, at all! But, this time, I will most definitely emphasize how imperative it is. The important thing to remember is that you need to make sure you’re buying sushi-grade tuna, which is most generally always eaten without being cooked at all. Anything given the sushi grade has to be of very high quality, so the chances of getting sick from eating it are slim to none. I’ve eaten uncooked, rare, or medium-rare tuna on many occasions, and have yet to get sick as a result. Try doing that with chicken! ;-P

Printable Recipe

1 c. dark soy sauce
1 c. honey
¼ c. dry wasabi powder
2 (app. 8 oz.) sushi-grade tuna steaks
¼ c. white sesame seeds
¼ c. black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. canola oil
Wasabi aioli, optional

In a non-reactive (glass) bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, and wasabi powder. Place the tuna in a glass baking dish and pour the sauce around the fish, moving the fish around to coat evenly. Marinate the tuna up to 4 hours, turning the steaks halfway through marinating. Remove the tuna from the marinade and discard the marinade. On a plate, combine the sesame seeds and coat both sides of each tuna steaks with the seeds, pressing gently so that they adhere.
In a non-coated or cast iron frying pan, heat canola oil on medium heat and place the tuna steaks in the frying pan when the oil is hot. For medium rare steak: cook for 2 - 4 minutes, flip and cook for another 2 - 4 minutes. Slice the tuna against the grain and serve drizzled with a little bit of wasabi aioli. Makes 4 servings


  1. Great tips on this post concerning fish. Also,your tuna looks perfect! I really like the marinade-delicious.

  2. Thank you, Tina! I have lots of trivial information stored away in my brain, and I try to share what I know about food and cooking when I feel that it's important for others to know. Nobody should ever have to eat bad food, as far as I'm concerned!

  3. This tuna looks amazing, great job!! :)

  4. Thank you, Kelly! It tastes even better than it looks!! :-)