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How to Pan Sear Ahi Tuna

Yellowfin tuna one of the species of tuna called “ahi tuna”, notable for its beautiful pink color and prized for its deliciously mild flavor and creamy texture. Ahi tuna is one of the best and highest-quality fish a cook can get their hands on. Here’s how to perfectly pan-sear your ahi tuna in a few simple steps.

The Best Ahi Tuna for Searing

Often called the “steak of fish”, Ahi or Yellowfin Tuna has a mild and meaty flavor that makes them a favorite among meat and seafood lovers. Sustainably wild-caught in the waters of the Pacific, ahi tuna is a great high protein option for anyone looking for a healthy and gourmet meal at home.

Searing vs. Cooking Through

The yellowfin tuna experience is best when most of the slice you’re eating is cooked to a medium-rare or medium doneness and still pink in the middle. The juiciness, the tuna flavor, and the texture are simply sublime. It’s certainly OK to cook ahi tuna all the way through. The only risk is that overcooked tuna can be quite dry (think canned tuna) and less flavorful. Instructions for cooking ahi tuna both to medium-rare and medium are below.

How to Pan-Sear Ahi Tuna

Pan-searing is a technique that will is extremely simple and will have your ahi tuna ready to serve in a flash. Follow the steps below for an epic seafood meal at home.

1. Thaw Ahi Tuna

Start by completely thawing your ahi tuna steaks. To thaw overnight in the refrigerator, remove the desired number of tuna steaks from the plastic packaging, cover, and refrigerate. For quicker thawing, unpackage your tuna steak and place it in a sealable plastic bag. Immerse in cold water for 30 minutes or until completely defrosted. Once thawed consume within one to two days.

2. Season Ahi Tuna

Season tuna steaks with your favorite seasoning blend, or try our Seafood Rub with Citrus & Herb to bring out the wonderful flavors of the fish.

3. Preheat Pan to Medium Heat

Add 1 tsp. of olive oil per ahi tuna portion to the pan and preheat over medium heat.

4. Pan-Sear Ahi Tuna

For medium-rare doneness, place tuna steaks in the preheated pan and cook for only 60-90 seconds on each side or until the outside changes color to opaque. Thicker portions may take slightly longer. For medium doneness, cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side. Flip the tuna and cook for another 4-5 minutes on the second side.

How to Serve Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna

Seared tuna is delicious and so, so versatile. Consider these ideas for seared tuna steaks, and don’t be afraid to get creative! Sprinkle your tuna steaks with toasted sesame seeds for an added crunch, and drizzle with sweet-sticky soy sauce. Top with delicious mango salsa or add to an ahi tuna salad bowl.

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How to Pan Sear Ahi Tuna


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