Sesame-Crusted Tuna Steaks




Our local market had fresh caught tuna on sale and I just couldn’t resist. The secret to preparing tuna is about controlling heat. It is important to bring the tuna to room temperature before cooking. When you add cold tuna to a hot pan it steals some of the heat away from the pan and drops the temperature. The idea is to add your fish to a hot pan and sear it quickly and evenly. You don’t want the tuna to cook all the way through. Just sear it on each side for about a minute and a half and then on the sides for about 20 seconds each. You are rewarded with a tender, juicy tuna steak surrounded by a crispy sesame crust. Perfection! Served here over Pearl Barley with Spinach and Feta.



  • 4 tuna steaks (1-inch thick, about 6 ounces each)
  • 1/3 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 2 t. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil


  1. Combine the white and black sesame seeds on a plate and spread in a thin layer.
  2. Whisk the sesame oil and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Using a spoon, drizzle a little of the mixture over each tuna steak and rub with the back of a spoon to cover the entire surface. Season with a little black pepper, then turn the steaks and repeat the process.
  3. Dredge the tuna steaks in sesame seeds (sides included), pressing gently to ensure they cover the fish evenly and completely.
  4. Film the bottom of a heavy pan with a small amount of vegetable oil, then heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  5. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, add 2 of the tuna steaks and sear just long enough for the white sesame seeds to develop a little golden color, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes per side. If desired, you can use tongs to gently support the steaks and sear the edges of the steaks all the way around as well, 15 to 20 seconds total should be enough time.
  6. Transfer the tuna to a cutting board and repeat the process with the remaining steaks.
  7. Cut the tuna steaks into thin slices and arrange over fresh greens. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi for dipping, steamed rice on the side and a garnish of sliced scallions.

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About Worth Stopping By . . .

I am a blogger who would rather talk than write. I enjoy traveling, family time, friends and food/fine dining. I have made some real efforts in the kitchen lately, and I blog in order to document and motivate myself to: 1.) fully use all of the fresh ingredients in my kitchen and 2.) cook healthy, creative meals.

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