Grilled Ahi Tuna Steak Recipe
The Perfect Seared Tuna Recipe, and All About Tuna
When we think of tuna, we often picture an inexpensive can of dry, pale meat, but the truth is tuna is one of the most extraordinary types of fish in the sea! Tuna is a noble fish. It’s delicious too.
Did you know a tuna can weigh over 1,500 pounds? And they travel in groups, so that’s like a pack of rhinos heading your way but in the sea. The question is how to cook tuna steaks? What’s the best way to prepare an ahi tuna steak, anyway? Here’s a stunning ahi tuna steak recipe to get you started, plus all you need to know about such sea-scented delicacy.
The Type of Tuna Matters
There are at least fifteen fish varieties in the tuna family. The most prized is the immense Atlantic bluefin tuna, but it’s now so rare, and it’s better to let it be. Still, the second-best is without a doubt the ahi or yellowfin tuna — this one you can enjoy any day of the week!
Yellowfin tuna is a bit smaller than the largest tunas out there, weighing up to 440 pounds, but its flesh is melt-in-your-mouth delicious, especially if cooked right. That’s why we’re here to help, starting with the most crucial question, what is an ahi tuna steak?
Know Your Cuts
An ahi tuna steak is a round, often one-inch-thick red cut from the fish’s filet. It has been a traditional Hawaiian dish since forever (where ah-hee means fire), but it now enjoys global popularity.
There are two main types of tuna steak, both readily available. The more commercial ahi tuna steak, and the bigeye steak, from an entirely different fish. Bigeye steaks are fatty and buttery, therefore more flavorful, but the lean taste of a good-old ahi steak is also wonderful! The best way to cook tuna steaks? Let’s find out!
How to Cook an Ahi Tuna Steak?
You need not do much to a high-quality tuna steak. What’s paramount is its freshness, so if you can source a fresh steak, you’re in for a treat! Otherwise, frozen tuna steaks are relatively common, and they’re nice as well.
To cook a frozen tuna steak, thaw it overnight, and let it sit on the counter at least half an hour before cooking until it’s at room temperature. You can serve your tuna steak raw, cut thinly as in sashimi or diced for a Hawaiian poke bowl. Still, you can also bake, sauté and grill tuna steaks with marvelous results.
The perfect marinade for tuna steaks
There’s no one but many ways of marinating tuna steaks, and you don’t have to stick with one method either. Soy sauce and honey make a lovely teriyaki-like marinade, and plain salt and pepper work too. Even citrus juices make for captivating tuna marinade recipes, so you do you. We’re pretty sure you’ll get it right. Marinating tuna steaks for between 20-30 minutes is highly recommended in any case. Longer marinades can “cook” the steak, changing its texture, mainly if you use acidic marinades.
How to cook a tuna steak?
Whether you cook your steaks in the grill, a cast-iron skillet or the griddle, make sure you cook each side for between 2-4 minutes over high heat, flipping just once. Preserving a pink core is critical here. This means that your tuna steaks are ready in just over thirty minutes, already considering the marinating time!
To crust or not to crust?
There are many crusted ahi steak recipes out there, and it’s easy to see why. Tuna has a clean flavor profile and a tender texture, and a sesame seed crust can make the dish much more interesting! If you want to crust your steaks, make sure you marinate them before coating them with sesame seeds combined with dried herbs and spices. Creativity is encouraged!
Although there are endless ways of cooking tuna steaks, here’s our favorite grilled ahi tuna steak recipe. We hope you enjoy it!
Easy Grilled Ahi Tuna Steak Recipe
- 2 pieces ahi tuna steaks (or bigeye steaks)
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp dried herbs (optional)
- 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp butter
Prepare the marinade
- Combine the soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and dried herbs in a non-reactive mixing bowl.
Marinate the Tuna Steaks
- Place the tuna steaks in the mixture, cover the bowl with plastic film and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
Prepare the Grill or Skillet
- Preheat the grill or frying pan, and melt the butter.
Prepare the Tuna Steaks for the Grill
- Drain and pat the tuna steaks dry to remove the excess marinade. Coat with black sesame seeds.
Sear the Tuna Steaks
- Sear the tuna steaks for between 2-4 minutes on each side.
Plate Tuna Steaks
- Remove from the heat, plate, cut into slices and serve. Enjoy!