How to Pan Sear Ahi Tuna

  • by Omaha Steaks
how to pan sear ahi tuna
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Yellowfin tuna – one of the species of tuna called “ahi tuna” – is one of the best and highest-quality tunas a cook can get their hands on. It’s notable for its beautiful pink color, and prized for its deliciously mild flavor and creamy texture (when it’s cooked right). Ahi tuna is most often cut into steaks or used in sushi rolls, and can be enjoyed raw, cooked, or anywhere in between. So, you’ve got some Yellowfin Tuna Steaks? Here’s how to cook ahi tuna perfectly in a pan on your range.

Searing vs. Cooking Through

The yellowfin tuna experience is best when most of the slice you’re eating is uncooked. The juiciness, the tuna flavor, and the texture are simply sublime. The fish is served completely raw in many sushi and Japanese presentations, but it’s also often seared for an ahi tuna salad or to be served as a steak. It’s certainly OK to cook ahi tuna all the way through. The only risk to your meal in overcooking is that tuna that’s too far done can be quite dry (think canned tuna). Instructions for cooking ahi tuna both to medium-rare and medium are below.

How to Pan Sear Tuna Steaks

Searing tuna steaks is a snap. It’s actually one of the quickest dinners you can make, because the meat is best when barely cooked. Follow these instructions and cooking times to cook tuna in pan to medium-rare or cooked-through medium.

Medium-Rare Doneness

  • Preheat 1 tsp. of olive or cooking oil per portion in a pan over high heat.
  • Season tuna steaks as desired or use our Signature Seafood Rub with Citrus & Herb.
  • Plan tuna steaks in the pan and cook for only 60-90 seconds on each side, or until the outside changes color to opaque.
  • Remove tuna steaks from pan and serve.

Medium Doneness

  • Preheat 1 tsp. of olive or cooking oil per portion in a pan over medium.
  • Season tuna steaks as desired or use our Signature Seafood Rub with Citrus & Herb.
  • Plan tuna steaks in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side. Flip the steak and cook for 3-4 minutes on the second side.
  • Remove tuna steaks from pan and serve.

Serving Pan-Seared Tuna Steaks

Seared tuna is delicious and so, so versatile. Consider these ideas for seared tuna steaks, and don’t be afraid to get creative!

  • Sprinkling tuna steaks with toasted sesame seeds or drizzling with sweet-sticky soy sauce
  • Use delicious sweet fruit and a little spice to make fresh mango salsa
  • Serve sliced tuna steaks with a quick chimichurri or herb sauce
  • Place slices of seared ahi tuna over a salad with a zesty Asian vinaigrette for a quick tuna salad
  • Serve with soy sauce and a hot chili paste for dipping
  • Try making this totally unique Apricot Mango Wasabi Sauce 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been updated for freshness and comprehensiveness.

 

How to Pan Sear Ahi Tuna

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