Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks with Dipping Sauce

These paleo pan-seared ahi tuna steaks take less than 10 minutes to make, but look and taste so fancy and buttery. Don’t forget the dipping sauce!

ahi tuna steaksI believe this is the first time I ever cooked seared tuna steak (not to be confused with canned tuna) at home.  I’ve only eaten it at restaurants and it’s always been a treat for me. The delicious nutty crust with the buttery, raw inside felt like a fancy delicacy only to be enjoyed on occasion. When I saw tuna steaks being sold by my favorite seafood vendor at the farmers market a week ago, I decided to go for it. I figured, if I mess up, I can always make tuna salad.

What I didn’t realize was how quick and easy it is to make a sesame-seed crusted seared tuna from scratch. As long as you have high quality tuna (wild-caught and fresh), it’s really hard to mess up because the flavor is already there, and all you need remember is to not cook it for too long.

ahi tuna steaks

ahi tuna steaks

ahi tuna steaks

I’m not sure if I’ll make this all the time because good quality seafood can be expensive, but it’s great knowing that I can whip up dinner in less than 10 minutes if I had to with this recipe. I really love stupid easy and quick meals!

The added bonus is that tuna has great nutritional benefits. It has a high amount of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, as well as healthy nutrients like selenium, potassium, iodine, phosphorus, magnesium, and B vitamins to nourish our brains and hearts! Supplementing with omega-3 capsules and vitamins may be beneficial, but I’d rather eat them in their most absorbable and delicious forms rather than swallowing pills all the time. Wouldn’t you?  

ahi tuna steaks

ahi tuna steaks

ahi tuna steaks

Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks with Dipping Sauce

These paleo pan-seared ahi tuna steaks take less than 10 minutes to make, but look and taste so fancy and buttery. Don't forget the dipping sauce!
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Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Servings: 2 steaks
Author: Jean Choi


Seared ahi tuna:

  • 2 ahi tuna steaks about 5 oz each
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup white or black raw sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp raw sesame oil
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp maple syrup Omit for Whole30 or RESTART
  • 1/4 tsp Korean red chili powder optional


  • Pour sesame seeds on a shallow plate.
  • Pat the tuna steaks dry with a paper towel.
  • Use a teaspoon of dijon mustard for each steak to coat on both sides.
  • Press both sides of each tuna steak in sesame seeds, making sure they are coated evenly.
  • Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
  • Lay one steak in the pan and fry for 1 minute. Flip the steak and cook for additional 1 minute on the other side. Transfer to a cutting board, then repeat the process with the other steak. They should be cooked just on the outside. Make sure you don't overcook them!
  • Cut the tuna steaks in to 1/4-inch slices.
  • Whisk together all ingredients for the dipping sauce and place in a small bowl.
  • Serve tuna with the dipping sauce.

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