Seared yellowfin, or ahi tuna is a fabulous main dish to serve for a romantic dinner or to special guests. In this recipe, the tuna is encrusted in sesame seeds, which gives the fish a nutty flavor and slightly crunchy outer shell that balances well with the texture of the tuna. Seared ahi tuna is best served rare, but can be seared longer depending on your preference. For rare Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna, I generally buy at least 1-inch thick pieces of fish, however if you like your tuna more well-done, just sear the fish a little bit longer.
Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna
1 lb sashimi-grade Tuna loin, cut into a log-shape about 3 inches wide and 8 inches long
4 tbsp mixed black and white sesame seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp light cooking oil, such as canola
soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger
In a shallow dish, combine the two types of sesame seeds and stir to mix. Season the tuna with salt and pepper and dredge in the sesame seeds, coating the tuna evenly. In a non-stick pan, add enough oil to just coat the bottom of the pan and preheat the pan to medium-high. The oil should be hot but not smoking. Test the temperature of the oil by dropping a small amount of water into the heated oil. If it sizzles and immediately turns to steam, the oil is hot enough.
Then take the tuna and place it in the hot pan and sear for about 20-30 seconds on each of the four sides, turning the tuna gently with tongs. Using a very sharp knife, slice the tuna into uniform pieces and serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi. You can also drizzle some siracha sauce for some extra heat.