Seared Ahi Tuna


This seared ahi tuna recipe is marinated in soy sauce, chili sauce, ginger lime, and olive oil. It is delicious by itself or in an ahi tuna bowl! Did I mention it packs 46g of protein per serving?

seared ahi tuna steak on a cutting board

Easy Seared Ahi Tuna

When it comes to fish, ahi tuna is queen (and king). There is just something about the flavor and texture of ahi tuna that doesn’t even compare to any other fish!

You marinate this ahi tuna for at least 30 minutes to overnight and then your cook time is less than 5 minutes. We’re not joking, you’ll have delicious and flavorful ahi tuna in no time.

why we love this recipe

  • You can have restaurant style tuna at home!
  • These ahi tuna steaks are crunchy on the outside and rare on the inside.
  • There are many different ways to eat this ahi tuna.
  • Ahi tuna is a great source of protein.
ahi tuna steak being marinaded

Ahi Tuna Marinade

For this recipe, we wanted the tuna to be seasoned with a flavorful zing, so we used the following ingredients:

  • Soy sauce
  • Red chili sauce
  • Fresh grated ginger
  • Lime juice

How to Make Ahi Tuna Marinade

To make sure the ahi tuna had time to marinade in all this goodness, we mixed all these ingredients up in a mason jar and gave it a good shake to mix it all together.

Placed the raw ahi tuna in a Stasher bag (any sealable plastic bag will work!) and poured the marinade in with it before placing it in the fridge laying flat to allow the tuna to soak it up for at least 30 minutes.

This recipe will be delish with a 30 minute marinade, but if you have time to let these beauts marinade all day or overnight, DO IT. You won’t be disappointed ?


Want to add a little something extra to this marinade? Add any of the additions below to change things up!

  • Wasabi
  • Hoisin
  • Honey
  • Fish sauce
  • Mirin
  • Tamarind paste
ahi tuna covered in sesame seeds on a plate

How to Sear Ahi Tuna Perfectly

Whether you’re looking for a rare tuna steak (how we cooked ours in these photos!), a medium rare tuna steak or a well done tuna steak, WE GOT YOU.

First, you’ll want to make sure your skillet is hot hot hot. We’re talking set to medium / high with enough time to fully heat up.

You’ll know your skillet is good to go when the olive oil is fragrant. Place 1 tuna steak in the skillet and adhere to the following cook times depending on how well done you like your seared ahi tuna:

  • Rare: 30 seconds per side
  • Medium rare: 1 minute per side
  • Well done: 2 minutes per side
ahi tuna being seared in a cast iron skillet

Other Things to Know

Is seared ahi tuna safe?

Yes, seared ahi tuna is safe to eat. If you feel uncomfortable eating a rare ahi tuna steak, feel free to cook it until it is cooked through the middle.

Also, if your ahi tuna smells funny or off we suggest not eating it!

Fresh or Frozen Ahi Tuna

You can use fresh ahi tuna or frozen ahi tuna.

If you are using frozen ahi tuna, remove the frozen fish from the freezer the day before you plan to eat it and place it in the refrigerator to thaw.

Remove excess moisture from the ahi tuna (fresh or frozen) with a paper towel before placing it in the marinade.

How to store ahi tuna

Store your ahi tuna in a airtight container for up to 5 days.

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Serving Suggestions

You can eat your ahi tuna on tacos, in a bowl, or by itself with one of the delicious sides below!

Simple Asian Salad– Looking to pair one of your favorite Asian dishes with a simple Asian salad? We’ve got you covered with this colorful Asian salad recipe dressed with a yummy Asian salad dressing.

Cauliflower Fried Rice– This Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe is a delicious low carb alternative to traditional fried rice. Packed with veggies and a super flavorful sauce, plus it’s easy to make. Enjoy!

Thai Chili Corn Salad– We love this Thai Chili Summer Corn Salad. It’s made with grilled corn, carrots, red pepper, cabbage, and the most delicious vinaigrette! Make this grilled corn salad today.

Rainbow Asian Noodle Salad– Delicious veggies like red and green peppers, carrots, pea pods, red onion and cucumbers tossed with an asian sesame dressing and linguine noodles make for the freshest of the fresh salads. 

seared ahi tuna on a cutting board

seared ahi tuna on a cutting board

Seared Ahi Tuna

This seared ahi tuna recipe packs 46g of protein per serving. Make this for dinner tonight!

Prep: 45 minutesCook: 2 minutesTotal: 47 minutes

Fat 10 Carbs 4 Protein 46

Yield 4 servings 1x


  • 1.5 lbs. ahi tuna steaks (2 1.5-inch steaks)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil


  1. First, place tuna steaks in a large bowl or a plastic bag.
  2. Make ahi tuna marinade and add soy sauce, chili sauce, grated ginger, and lime juice to a small mason jar. Tighten cover and then shake the jar until all ingredients are combined. Pour mixture over the ahi tuna steaks.
  3. Seal the plastic bag and place the steaks in the fridge and let marinate for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better!).
  4. Remove ahi tuna steaks from the refrigerator and then remove from the marinade. Pour sesame seeds on a plate and coat every part of both tuna steak with sesame seeds.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the olive oil is fragrant, add one tuna steak to the pan and sear for 30 seconds to 2 minutes on each side.*
  6. Repeat for the second tuna steak.
  7. Let seared tuna steaks rest for 2 minutes and then thinly slice.

Tips & Notes

  • *30 seconds for rare, 1 minute for medium rare, and 2 minutes for well done.
  • This recipe was updated on July 14, 2019.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/4 recipe Calories: 289 Sugar: 0 Sodium: 755 Fat: 10 Carbohydrates: 4 Fiber: 1 Protein: 46

Author: Emily RichterCategory: Fish and SeafoodMethod: Stove TopCuisine: Asian

Keywords: seared ahi tuna steaks

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.

About Emily Richter

Emily spent the first 10 years of her career in marketing and advertising roles and started side-hustling with Fit Foodie Finds in Fall of 2015. She joined Team Fit Foodie full-time in the Spring of 2018. Em lives in Minneapolis with her husband and dog, and manages FFF business operations as well as all things sponsorships and brand collaborations.

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