If I can get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes, I’m a happy girl. Under 20? Even better. But under TEN? It’s almost too good to be true! But this one is DEFINITELY true.
So true that we’ve made these Six-Minute Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks twice in the past two weeks and fully plan on doing it again this coming week.
As you may have guessed from the title, this only takes six minutes, and it’s absolutely mouthwateringly delicious.
And EASY! What more could you want?
Fish in any form usually cooks up extremely quickly. Maybe that’s why I have so many salmon recipes on the blog. Like this Seared Salmon with Scallion Butter, and this 15-minute Poached Salmon with Chive Butter. And this Mandarin Orange Glazed Salmon!
Salmon is usually my go-to for fish, since it’s outrageously delicious and amazingly healthy.
But when I was at the grocery store the other day and saw these gorgeous ahi tuna steaks for $5 (that’s only $2.50 each!), I couldn’t resist.
While I love salmon, it can be a bit pricey. This was too good a deal to pass up. And tuna, like salmon, has an array of serious health benefits (including being high in Omega-3s and vitamin B12).
Seared ahi tuna is a bit different than your normal canned tuna. For one thing: it comes in a whole, beautiful steak that holds its form much easier than other kinds of fish, which may tend to flake apart.
For another thing: it is usually cooked medium-rare: seared on the outside, red on the inside.
It actually looks very similar to a beef steak in this regard. It. Is. AMAZING.
Scared of raw fish? That’s OK. I won’t judge you, if you won’t judge me.
Cook the fish for a little longer to ease your fears. But, look up any seared ahi tuna recipe and you will see that it is almost always cooked this way.
If you order it a restaurant, it’s bound to be cooked medium-rare as well.
I’d recommend getting over your fears and jumping on this bandwagon. Fully cooked tuna can be a bit dry (like its canned counterpart), but when the outside is a crispy, salty, savory layer and the inside is a supple, soft, tender layer, it enhances the taste so much and the texture is amazing.
The fact that the tuna is served medium-rare accounts for its extremely fast cooking time. Just marinate the tuna in a mixture of soy sauce, oil, salt, and pepper (with some cayenne for some heat, if you want) preferably for at least ten minutes, or overnight.
For a typical ahi tuna steak (about 1.5″ thick), sear on each side for 2.5 minutes (two for rare; three for medium). I recommend using a nonstick skillet for this, or a very well seasoned cast iron skillet (fish has a tendency to stick, and you don’t want to risk the beautiful seared outer layer sticking to the pan!).
Enjoy the tuna on its own with a side, or serve it on a bed of greens with an Asian-style dressing. (We used this soy-ginger one that was fabulous! This salad was EXTREMELY filling. I’m not usually one to have a salad as a “meal,” but this was certainly an exception.) Chopsticks optional :-)
Alternatively, this would be great in a seared tuna poke bowl. Poke bowls are usually made with raw fish, but I think this fish, seared perhaps for a little less time than normal, cut up into cubes, would be excellent in a poke bowl.
I recommend a good non-stick skillet for this (I have this one and love it- the nonstick coating has held up for years, unlike cheaper pans). It makes cooking delicate fish a breeze, especially with an easy clean-up.
You can also use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet– just make sure you get it searing hot before adding the fish so it doesn’t stick.
I bought my ahi tuna steaks frozen, but you may be able to find fresh. If you use frozen, just make sure it’s completely defrosted before cooking.
I usually take mine out of the vacuum sealed plastic and leave it on a plate, covered in plastic wrap, in the fridge for 24 hours before I plan on cooking.
Here are some products I recommend for this. The recipe for Six-Minute Seared Ahi Tuna is below!
Six-Minute Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks
- 2 ahi tuna steaks
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or canola
- salt and black pepper to taste
- dash of cayenne pepper optional
- green onions for serving (optional)
- Salad greens for serving (optional)
- Cover tuna steaks with soy sauce, oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Optional: marinate in a container or bag for ten minutes (or overnight).
- Heat a medium skillet on medium high until hot.
- Sear tuna for 2.5 minutes on each side for medium rare (2 on each side for rare; 3 on each side for medium).
- Slice into 1/2 inch slices and serve garnished with green onions and, if you wish, over a bed of salad greens with your favorite Asian-style dressing.
- For a gluten-free version, be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce. Or, for a paleo/whole30 compliant option, use liquid aminos instead.
- Depending on how hot your burners are, you may have to experiment with how long to sear each side. Depending on the stove I'm using, I sometimes only cook it for 1.5 minutes on each side for medium-rare!
- You can also grill this over hot coals or high heat on a gas grill for about 1 minute per side.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.